Another world, in this one: Teju Cole's Switzerland

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In the summer of 2014, Teju Cole left his home in New York and travelled to Switzerland, the recipient of a residential fellowship from Literaturhaus Zürich. His residency came with a stipend, an apartment facing the distant mountains in a quiet part of the city, and the requirement that he reside in Switzerland for the better part of six months – though not necessarily in Zurich. Cole anticipated an opportunity for sustained absorption in his manuscript-in-progress, a nonfictional work about Lagos, where he grew up: “where better to write about chaotic, relentless, overpopulated Lagos than in modest, quietly industrious Zürich?” But what followed was a period less of writing than of mesmerized wandering and photography, through a country Cole evokes as “more different than others,” travelling by every available mode of public transport from the funicular to the ferry, with an old Yashica camera in his hands.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberE44
JournalJournal of American Studies
Issue number4
Early online date18 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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