During these uncertain times, Teju Cole is curating playlists that reflect current events and his own thoughts on history and music. Brittle Paper has compiled the playlists, which include titles like “songs without words” and “melodious uncle.” For the playlist titled “take my hand,” Cole writes: “Thinking with Arthur Jafa about making culture in freefall. Thinking with Saidiya Hartman about grieving as a way of making life with one another. A moment of rebuilding will come—for the survivors—and the features by which we will recognize each other in that rebuilding are being quietly established right now.”
In Wayde Compton’s The Outer Harbour, a series of short stories take the reader from the present day to 2025, exploring a near-future Vancouver in which things grow steadily more surreal. As Emily Oppenheimer writes, it’s clearly a work of speculative fiction, yet the setting resembles our own world in uncanny ways. Sample quote: “Compton achieves the more troubling, yet ultimately more satisfying, goal of portraying the fantastical as something that is very much rooted in what we think we already know about ourselves and our world.”
“Even after I realize that we are being robbed, that bullets can shatter glass, that being locked in is no help in this situation, I still feel a vague resentment at having to hand the laptop over. It’s mine. It contains my work, a week of writing, a month or more of photography, personal information. I have hesitated only a few seconds but feel as though I have just woken from a trance: briefly, I imagined myself with a bullet in my thigh, imagined myself bleeding out in traffic in Ojota.” At Granta, Teju Cole writes about living in Lagos.