Published by Random House on March 25th 2014
Genres/Lists: #30Authors, Diverse, Fiction
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
Can you ever go home again? This is one of the many questions readers are left with upon finishing Every Day Is For the Thief by Teju Cole (a #30Authors recommendation), a short book about a Nigerian living in New York who returns home after fifteen years, only to find that nothing is as he remembers. As an adult, the narrator is acutely aware of the corruption of his home country but finds pockets of hope throughout his days.
Nigeria is a place where bribery is so common as to be expected, where firemen have no water, and where policemen bribe citizens at every turn, but for one man, it’s also home. Every Day Is For the Thief is the story about this man’s struggle to reconcile the country he grew up in with the country he returns to, seeking the answers to questions such as: Is it that, as a child, he was unaware of these things, or did living in America change his perceptions? Regardless of the answers, the narrator finds pockets of hopefulness and comes to understand his home in a way he didn’t before and leaves a changed man. The following sentence sums up the book perfectly:
“Each time I am sure that, in returning to Lagos, I have inadvertently wandered into a region of hell, something else emerges to give me hope. A reader, an orchestra, the friendship of some powerful swimmers against the tide.”
Recommended for: Anyone who wants a quick but deep read about whether you can ever go home again.