Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2021

Journal / Book Title

Journal of Narrative Theory


This article argues that Teju Cole’s Open City (2011) and Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland (2008) utilize first-person narrators who are part of the critique that each novel offers of the globalized landscape. O’Neill and Cole thematize geographic movement and use narrative fluidity to reveal compelling international and historical connections, and each novel explicitly and implicitly exposes profound gaps in privilege and security. Simultaneously, the lapses in their highly mobile, cosmopolitan narrators’ memories (personal and historical) call attention to the limits of any perspective on globality. The essay discusses the value of the tensions produced by Cole’s and O’Neill’s narrative strategies relative to the aims of global fiction.


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Published Citation

Gonzalez, Jeffrey. "Narrative and Cosmopolitan Mobility: Teju Cole’s 'Open City,' Joseph O’Neill’s 'Netherland' and Global Fiction." Journal of Narrative Theory, vol. 51 no. 2, 2021, p. 200-228.