The prayers of The Reading Life Family go out for the kidnapped Nigerian girls.
I came away from Every Day is for the Thief with two strong convictions. The first is that Teju Cole is an extremely talented writer and the second is that I am very glad I don't live in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria and the setting for this powerful novel. I live in a tropical mega-city with its own well deserved reputation for corruption but it is like Singapore compared to the urban environment depicted in Every Day is for the Thief.
The teller of the story left Nigerian for New York City fifteen years ago and is back for a visit. Everywhere he goes he sees pervasive corruption. In a place where few people, including police, customs officials and other government workers are paid a wage they can support their families upon, bribery and demands for tips are the only way to get by. There is effectively no law, no one is in charge. All of us have gotten E mails advising us that we have won something like the Nigerian National Lottery or have been given $10,000,000.00 by the Nikon Foundation. In a great chapter Cole takes us into one of the hundreds of Internet cafes in Lagos where these E Mails originate. All ask you, if you respond, to send in an advance fee to collect your money. This is illegal in Nigeria, the problem is if you are arrested, you just tip the policeman. Those who do this are called Yahoo Yahoo boys as Yahoo chat is one of their big hunting grounds. Many sit in the cafe for hours, the cost is seventy American cents and hour, less than two PHP. They all dream of the mark who will send them a huge fee to exercise their option to buy an oil field in Nigeria for next to nothing.
The narrator wanders all over the city. His family in Lagos tells him don't take public transportation but he does it for the experience. He looks up a boyhood friend now a doctor and a first girl friend. He visits book stores. We really feel we are the in Lagos and we begin to wonder what terrible thing can we next witness.
Cole has taken us deeply into a nightmare world.
Official bio from webpage of author