Teju Cole’s “Tremor” makes Time’s list of 100 Must-Read Books of 2023
Teju Cole’s Tremor has secured a spot on Time’s prestigious list of 100 Must-Read Books of 2023. In this captivating novel, Cole delves into the life of Tunde, a Harvard professor of Nigerian descent, whose world is shaken by the unexpected death of a barely known colleague. As the university dean delivers the news dispassionately, Tunde embarks on a profound quest to unravel the essence of true existence.
Crafted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tremor is a bold meditation on life-altering disruptions, whether arising from death, marital struggles, or the discovery of an unexpected artifact.
Cole’s unconventional narrative meanders provocatively, often eschewing a traditional plot to accompany Tunde on reflective journeys through a violent world and his place within it. The novel’s hypnotic prose offers a vulnerable exploration of personal identity, privilege, and a wide-angle perspective on art and American history. The prevailing theme of unexpected loss permeates the narrative as Tunde addresses a recently departed friend simply known as “You,” seeking acceptance of his own mortality. Tremor is not a mournful tale but a sobering reminder that an unexamined life lacks true value.
Time describes the books on the list as “fiction, nonfiction,l and poetry that entertained and enlightened us.”
It also includes big books of the year like The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride, which won the National Book Award, as titles like The Vegan by Andrew Lipstein.
While there is a lot of literary fiction on the list, there are also celebrity memoirs, like My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand, Pageboy by Elliot Page, and Spare by Prince Harry. Also some bestsellers, including Yellowface by R. F. Kuang, The Wager by David Grann, Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, and The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese.