Teju Cole ’96 Tweets His Newest Story

Teju Cole at a microphone

Teju Cole

Teju Cole ’96 has published a short story titled “Hafiz.” Or, rather, his followers have published it on Twitter through a series of tweets and retweets.

“I took advantage of the hospitality of my friends and followers online by asking them to tweet out certain things,” he told National Public Radio’s Rachel Martin recently. Tweet from runty reader

“…[W]hen I retweeted all of these things, in sequence, they all joined together to make a coherent story. It was just an idea, very much dependent on the generosity and kindness of the people I asked to participate, and I think it worked out quite interestingly.”

Here’s a sampling of the 30-plus tweets that compose the story:

11:05 AM – 8 Jan 2014
. . . to the subway, I saw a man on the ground. He sat on the sidewalk, under trees, with his feet out to the quiet street.

11:14 AM – 8 Jan 2014
There was a stillness in the scene, as in an altarpiece. There was a helpless air in those who stood around him.

12:07 PM – 8 Jan 2014
He gave no indication of being aware of our presence. He was tranquil, wordless. The tears were falling from his eyes.

12:59 PM – 8 Jan 2014
Coming close to take his pulse, I smelled alcohol. His tear-stained cheek shone. I placed a thumb on his wrist. His hand was cold.

Teju Cole is the author of critically acclaimed novel “Open City.” Listen to his interview with Martin and read “Hafiz” in this National Public Radio report.

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About Andy Brown

As the Director of Media Relations and Online Content, Andy shares the stories that distinguish Kalamazoo College through social media, the Web and the news media. Contact him at abrown@kzoo.edu.