Praised as a ‘sublime’ writer by The Guardian, the Nigerian-American writer, art historian, photographer and champion of the artistic merits of Twitter, Teju Cole, has wide-ranging pre-occupations. His novel Open City explores spatial relations, immigrant experience and Manhattan bird life, and has attracted comparisons to the work of W.G. Sebald. His essay collection Known and Strange Things, takes in subjects from Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf and V.S. Naipaul to Barack Obama, Boko Harum and Instagram. Cole talks with Kevin Rabalais.