Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Taming Teju Cole
I met the prolific writer and journalist, Teju Cole yesterday.
You won't believe what happened. Or you would.
I was sitting in a corner of Bogobiri in Ikoyi, tapping away on my laptop and watching a man in a cottonseed shirt, green in colour, sitting with another man. He had some good beard and I was thinking to myself, 'I know this face.' I was not sure. I stood up and went to introduce myself and halfway, I stopped. I wasn't sure and I didn't want to embarrass myself. Halfway going back to my seat, I stopped again and went back and said, 'Sir, you look like someone I know.' And he smiled. Then I said, 'Teju Cole?' And he said, 'You are Onyeka?'
That was funny, really.
I distracted him a bit from the interview he was running with the musician he was sitting with and later excused him to let him finish.
I hung around for a while and later had a good conversation with him.
Teju Cole's book, Everyday is for the Thief was first a blog. Then it was published. And now, his new book, Open City is out for release in the States. The thing is that we have a strong connection, the both of us. He has been travelling to India for the past 7 years and writes passionately about India. His literary agency also represents a good friend of mine, Rana Dasgupta and hopefully, both will be meeting in New York for book launches.
It was awesome meeting Teju and I wish to learn a lot from him.