Teju Cole – Open City

“The walks met a need: they were a release from the tightly regulated mental environment of work, and once I discovered them as therapy, they became the normal thing, and I forgot what life had been like before I started walking. Work was a regimen of perfection and competence, and it neither allowed improvisation nor tolerated mistakes. As interesting as my research program was – I was conducting a clinical study of affective disorder in the elderly – the level of detail it demanded was of an intricacy that exceeded anything else I had done thus far. The streets served as a welcome opposite to all that. Every decision – where to turn left, how long to remain lost in thought in front of an abandoned building, whether to watch the sun set over New Jersey, or to lope in the shadows on the East Side looking across to Queens – was inconsequential, and was for that reason a reminder of freedom.”

great novel about the strolls of a young Nigerian intellectual through Manhattan: Teju Cole’s “Open City”

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