Open 11–4PM today

Open City: A Novel

Teju Cole



At the beginning of Open City, Julius has just broken up with his girlfriend, and feeling adrift and alone, he sets out on a series of walks through the city. On these walks he encounters a number of people—both strangers and old acquaintances—who reveal stories about their own pasts and the history of New York and, especially, its immigrants. Through these stories, each a little history in its own right, Julius begins to probe deeper into his own past. This journey takes him to Europe and the Nigeria of his youth. Eventually, back in New York, he meets a young woman from Nigeria, an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, who holds a secret about Julius that will shatter everything he has come to understand about himself and his world.


TEJU COLE was raised in Nigeria and came to the United States in 1992. He is a writer, photographer, and professional historian of Early Netherlandish art. Open City is his first novel. He lives in New York City.

© 2021 Wexner Center for the Arts. All Rights Reserved. All purchases support the Wexner Center for the Arts.