His previous book, Every Day is for the Thief, told the story of
an expatriated Nigerian returning uncomfortably to Lagos. This time
around, Teju Cole follows a German-Nigerian protagonist on long walks
through Manhattan. The reader follows the trail of the walker's (and the
writer's) wandering intelligence—which evokes the sentences of Naipaul
and Sebald but adds its own clauses of alertness and sensitivity—with
increasingly enriched attention.
May 18: Parade, the "first modern ballet," premiered in Paris on this day in 1917. The production was a collaboration of some of modernism's most famous -- music by Erik Satie, scenario by Jean Cocteau, costumes by Picasso,…