Teju Cole received the 2012 PEN/Hemingway Award for his “prismatic debut” (The New Yorker) Open City, “a quiet novel that somehow manages to scream” (Boston Globe). The book, named a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, is set in post-September 11th New York, and the narrative unfolds in deliberate measure, revealing the bias of memory, the discriminating nature of commemoration, and the ways secrets are repressed. A writer, art historian, and street photographer, Cole was raised in Nigeria. For his innovative “small fates” project on Twitter, Cole crafts compact stories about daily life in Lagos. In Every Day is for the Thief, Cole’s narrator visits Lagos after many years away, and rediscovers the chaos and kinship of his hometown as both an outsider and a local.
Dinaw Mengestu, recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35 Award and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, “writes with a very lyrical grace, with a quality of freshness and observation in his sentences” (The New Yorker) about lives uprooted and remade in powerful works populated by exiles, refugees, and children of the African diaspora. His novels include The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears—named a Notable Book of 2007 in The New York Times Book Review—and How to Read the Air, and his journalism for such publications as Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and the Wall Street Journal has taken him to war-torn regions of sub-Saharan Africa. All Our Names is a novel about identity and the struggle to escape dark secrets of the past.