British Association for American Studies


Andrew Clarke

Andrew Clarke is a 2nd year PhD candidate in Maynooth University and an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholar. He holds degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University. His dissertation is entitled ‘”Describe the problem properly”: Hybridity and Ambiguity in the work of Teju Cole.’

Book Review: Black Paper: Writing in a Dark Time by Teju Cole

The breadth of Teju Cole’s oeuvre – novelist, essayist, photography critic, and photographer – has led many to describe him as a public intellectual. It’s a label Cole has expressed his discomfort with[1], in spite of his knack for presenting innovative work through social media, amongst them his Twitter short story Hafiz, and his consistently oblique photographs that knowingly jar with the dominant aesthetic on Instagram. The publication in 2010 of his second novel, Open City, saw him heralded as a major new writer, despite his novel being subtle, ambiguous and, on the surface, largely plotless. He followed Open City with the wider publication of his debut novel, Every Day is For the Thief, previously only published in Nigeria. He has since gone on to publish a collection of essays, Known and Strange Things, and three photobooks: Blind Spot, Fernweh and Golden Apple of the Sun. Black Paper is his second collection of essays.