Did you hear about Teju Cole's essay on Twitter?

Teju Cole might be the opposite of a book snob, said Aaron Calvin in BuzzFeed.com. Earlier this year, the award-winning Nigerian-American novelist turned heads by publishing a 4,000-word, deeply reported essay on immigration via Twitter, breaking the text into 250 tweets.

Except for the format, “A Piece of the Wall” reads like an article that the 38-year-old Brooklyn-based scholar might have written for The New Yorker or The New York Times. But he wanted to be sure it could be read by people who lack either access to or a deep interest in magazines or books. “In various parts of West Africa, there are different iterations of the idea that ‘White people like paper so much that they even wipe their butts with it,’” he says. “I love print. But maybe not everything has to be on it.”

No one should suffer an excess of guilt for failing to read Cole’s newly published novella, Every Day Is for the Thief, said The New York Times. As voracious a reader as he’s been since childhood, Cole claims not to worry about any of the revered books that he’s so far failed to crack. “I have not read most of the big 19th-century novels that people consider ‘essential,’ nor most of the 20th-century ones for that matter,” he says. “But this does not embarrass me. There are many films to see, many friends to visit, many walks to take, many play-lists to assemble, and many favorite books to reread.

Life’s too short for anxious scorekeeping. Also, my grandmother is illiterate, and she’s one of the best people I know.”

As seen in The Week ;-)
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