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Book review: Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole

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In his essay “The White-Saviour Industrial Complex,” the Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole criticised Americans who see Africa as a problem for enthusiastic white individuals to solve: “If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement.” Ill-informed enthusiasts could do worse than read Every Day Is For The Thief, which portrays Nigerian corruption and inefficiency as specific, intractable and endemic.

Cole’s travelogue-novella was first published in Nigeria in 2007; now, thanks to the success of his 2011 novel Open City, it is…

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