Author: Teju Cole
Areas Featured: Morningside Heights, Harlem, Central Park, Financial District
Julius, the narrator of Teju Cole's lyrical Open City, spends most of the novel walking around. A psychiatric fellow at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, he travels up and down the streets of New York, from Morningside Heights to the Financial District, in order to clear his head. He meets many immigrants and emigrants. As an immigrant himself—Julius was born to a German mother and a Nigerian father in Lagos—he feels some affinity with them.
New York is a city of transplants, wandering people. Open City is a novel that asks you to look at Gotham from the perspective of an outsider. The intelligence and grace with which Cole accomplishes this is something to marvel at. —RS