At the heart of Teju Cole's gorgeously written novel Tremors are important issues about aesthetics and human rights. Tunde, an African American lecturer in photography, is the lens for raising questions about the relationship between the arts and history. We follow him into concerts, bars, parties and antique shops, connecting the dots as to how the colonial past shapes our understanding of the present. Museums have become places of sustained shock, in which the sinister implications of colonial acquisitiveness are made vividly clear.
The novel offers thought-provoking vignettes on a wide range of subjects, including astronomy, the minds of serial killers and the legacy of the creative act. Music is also used to illuminate the novel’s ideas, ranging from the traditional music of Senegal and Mali, to Jazz greats like Ahmad Jamal, the exquisite vocalist Liz Wright, and the phenomenon that is Ali Fakre Toure, together with images as diverse as those sent back to Earth by the Mars Rover. The enthusiastically inquiring mind of the character of Tunde makes Tremors a quietly reflective and fascinating read.
The new novel from the author of the celebrated Open City - a powerful and masterful exploration of what makes a meaningful life in a world of violence and wonder.