Open City, by Teju Cole
A haunting novel about national identity, race, liberty, loss and surrender, Open City follows a young Nigerian doctor as he wanders aimlessly along the streets of Manhattan. For Julius the walks are a release from the tight regulations of work, from the emotional fallout of a failed relationship, from lives past and present on either side of the Atlantic.
Isolated amid crowds of bustling strangers, Julius criss-crosses not just physical landscapes but social boundaries too, encountering people whose otherness sheds light on his own remarkable journey from Nigeria to New York - as well as into the most unrecognisable facets of his own soul.
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