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Blind Spot

Blind Spot

Author Teju Cole
Publisher Random House
Publication Date 2017-06-13
Section Photography
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780399591075

In this innovative synthesis of words and images, the award-winning author of Open City and photography critic for The New York Times Magazine combines two of his great passions. One of Time’s Best Non-Fiction Books of 2017 So Far “To look is to see only a fraction of what one is looking at. Even in the most vigilant eye, there is a blind spot. What is missing?” When it comes to Teju Cole, the unexpected is not unfamiliar: He’s an acclaimed novelist, an influential essayist, and an internationally exhibited photographer. In Blind Spot, readers follow Cole’s inimitable artistic vision into the visual realm as he continues to refine the voice, eye, and intellectual obsessions that earned him such acclaim for Open City. Here, journey through more than 150 of Cole’s full-color, original photos, each accompanied by his lyrical and evocative prose, forming a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel: from a park in Berlin to a mountain range in Switzerland, a church exterior in Lagos to a parking lot in Brooklyn; landscapes, beautiful or quotidian, that inspire Cole’s memories, fantasies, and introspections. Ships in Capri remind him of the work of writers from Homer to Edna O’Brien; a hotel room in Wannsee brings back a disturbing dream about a friend’s death; a home in Tivoli evokes a transformative period of semi-blindness, after which “the photography changed. . . . The looking changed.” As exquisitely wrought as the work of Anne Carson or Chris Marker, Blind Spot is a testament to the art of seeing by one of the most powerful and original voices in contemporary literature. Praise for Blind Spot “This lyrical essay in photographs paired with texts explores the mysteries of the ordinary. Cole’s questioning, tentative habit of mind, suspending judgement while hoping for the brief miracle of insight, is a form of what used to be called humanism.”—New York Times Books Review (Editors’ Choice) “An eye-opening exploration of the world, time, and how the two connect.”—Nylon “[Teju] Cole’s fiction and essays are incredible, unexpected, and beautiful; he’s also a spectacular photographer. His first collection of photographs, each image accompanied by his stunning prose, promises to show us the world through his eyes, which always seem to see things in a brilliant new light.”—Lisa Lucas, National Book Foundation “Once you get a taste of [Cole’s] writing, you can quickly (and hungrily) burn through what’s available. Thankfully, Blind Spot will indulge the senses by combining both of Cole’s loves in this . . . full-color collection of Cole’s photos, accompanied by his prose.”—The Week “Many artists have felt the lure of juxtaposing photographs and text, but few have succeeded as well as Teju Cole. He approaches this problem with an understanding of the limitations and glories of each medium.”—Stephen Shore, author of Uncommon Places “Cole’s deeply affecting work juxtaposes tragedy with hidden-in-plain-sight beauty as he embraces ‘poetic possibility’ in every scene and moment.”—Booklist   “Memoir meets museum catalog . . . A strange, cerebral, and very beautiful journey.”—Kirkus Reviews “This ambitious study deserves a spot on the shelf next to Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida and Susan Sontag’s On Photography.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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