Returning to Nigeria: Teju Cole’s Every Day Is for the Thief (2007) and Sefi Atta’s Everything Good Will Come (2005)

  • Maximilian Feldner
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


The moment of returning to Nigeria is a significant motif in the literature of the Nigerian diaspora. This chapter examines the diverging attitudes towards Nigeria in Teju Cole’s Every Day Is for the Thief (2007) and Sefi Atta’s Everything Good Will Come (2005). While Atta’s novel evinces an attitude of nation building and of trying to improve the country, Cole’s book presents a detached visitor and observer who highlights the more negative aspects of the Nigerian imaginary. As he is confronted with Nigeria’s rampant problems and social ills, the novel introduces three sets of problems that are saliently depicted in Nigerian diaspora literature, namely the lack of consistent provision of electricity, the ubiquitous corruption, and the proliferation of internet fraud.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maximilian Feldner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GrazGrazAustria

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