The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 13, 2016
by Dan
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Book Covers of Note October 2016

Busy, busy October… here are this month’s book covers of note… Aluta by Adwoa Badoe; design Michael Solomon; cover art Shonagh Rae (Groundwood / September 2016) American Ulysses by Ronald C. White; design Eric White; photograph © Colorized History, colorized by Mads Madsen … Continue reading

November 28, 2013
by Dan
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Teju Cole on Photographer Saul Leiter

Teju Cole, author of Open City and a photographer himself, on the late Saul Leiter at The New Yorker: The content of Saul Leiter’s photographs arrives on a sort of delay: it takes a moment after the first glance to … Continue reading

February 15, 2013
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Deciphered — Designer Peter Saville on his designs for New Order, particularly Blue Monday and Power Corruption and Lies, at Upon Paper: To me a record cover is part of the everyday, the now. And regularly there were phases of reference and quotation that – for … Continue reading

November 22, 2012
by Dan
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Teju Cole on Writers and Company

Author Teju Cole, author of Open City, in conversation with Eleanor Wachtel on CBC Radio’s Writers & Company: CBC RADIO Writers and Company: Teju Cole Open City mp3

September 17, 2012
by Dan
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Teju Cole Artangel Books Podcast

Just to quickly follow up from this post last week, here’s Teju Cole talking to The Guardian about his stay in A Room for London and reading his essay about V.S. Naipaul and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: Guardian Artangel Books … Continue reading

September 14, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Saw this in person for the first time at a bookstore  last night… Gray318’s cover really is outstanding. Natives on the Boat — Teju Cole, author of Open City, on his stay in the Roi des Belges in London, and an encounter with V.S. … Continue reading

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