Okey Ndibe

04/01/2014 7:00 pm
America/New York

 

Okey Ndibe teaches African and African Diaspora literatures at Brown University. He earned MFA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has taught at Connecticut College, Bard College, Trinity College, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). He is also the author of Arrows of Rain and has served on the editorial board ofHartford Courant where his essays won national and state awards. He lives in West Hartford, CT, with his wife, Sheri, and their three children.

 

Praise for Foreign Gods, Inc.

"Razor-sharp... Mr. Ndibe invests his story with enough dark comedy to make Ngene an odoriferous presence in his own right, and certainly not the kind of polite exotic rarity that art collectors are used to... In Mr. Ndibe’s agile hands, he’s both a source of satire and an embodiment of pure terror." 
—Janet Maslin, New York Times

"Unforgettable ... Ndibe seems to have a boundless ear for the lyrical turns of phrase of the working people of rural Nigeria... The wooden deity "has character, an audacious personality," says one non-African who sees it. So does Ndibe's novel, a page-turning allegory about the globalized world."  
—Los Angeles Times

"A hard look at the American dream, which seems to be receding further and further into the distance these days." 
GQ Magazine

“We clearly have a fresh talent at work here. It is quite a while since I sensed creative promise on this level.”
—Wole Soyinka, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"Dazzling... It's already obvious that 2014 is going to be a big year for African novels...but Okey Ndibe is bound to set himself apart from the pack. Who doesn't want to read a novel about a good god heist?" 
—The Guardian

"Bitter, sweet, pulpy, and rich in flavor, Okey Ndibe's second novel Foreign Gods, Inc. reads like the uncracked innards of a strange fruit. Each sentence a carefully crafted, holistic expression of Ndibe's eloquence, smacks of a master at work." 
—New York Daily News

"A New York novel, an everyman immigrant story, and a moving page-turner wrapped into one." 
—Manhattan Magazine

"Okey Ndibe’s Foreign Gods, Inc is one of the most impressive African novels that I have read in years.  Comic, sad—even tragic—Ndibe is a master craftsman, weaving his narrative with ethnic materials (and surprises) and a profundity that will startle you by the end of the story... Ikechukwu Uzondu’s journey into his past is as moving and frightful as Brutus Jones’ fate in Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece, The Emperor Jones.  Clearly, this is one writer to watch.  Moreover, his insights into both America and Nigeria will take your breath away." 
—Charles R. Larson, CounterPunch 

"A freshly and heartbreakingly recast tale of American immigration, with all its longings, disappointments, effacements and reclamations."
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"This original [novel] is packed with darkly humorous reflections on Africa’s obsession with the West, and the West’s obsession with all things exotic." 
Daily Mail (UK)

"Foreign Gods, Inc. reads like the narrative of a taxi-driving Faust in modern Nigeria and America. With Moliere-like humorous debunking of religious hypocrisy and rancid materialism, it teems with characters and situations that make you laugh in order not to cry." 
—Ngugi wa Thiong'o, author of Wizard of the Crow

"Foreign Gods, Inc. is a blistering exploration of the contemporary African immigrant experience in America. Ndibe tackles tough questions: from the shifting notions of home and identity to the nature of greed. In prose which is fresh and often funny, Ndibe draws the reader into the heartbreaking story of Ike Uzondu's attempt to survive in a world which seems determined to crush him." 
—Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters Street

"The best-laid plans often go awry. But they can certainly make for an entertaining read." 
—The New York Post 

"Race, religion, greed, xenophobia—author Okey Ndibe tackles these sensitive topics and more in the heist novel to end all heist novels." 
Bruce Tierney, BookPage

"Ndibe writes of cultural clash in a moving way that makes Ike’s march toward disaster inexorable and ineffably sad." 
Kirkus, STARRED Review

"Neither fable nor melodrama, nor what's crudely niched as "world literature," the novel traces the story of a painstakingly-crafted protagonist and his community caught up in the inescapable allure of success defined in Western terms."
Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review

"A challenging romp of gods and styles."
—John Edgar Wideman, author of Philadelphia Fire

"If you’ve ever sat in the back of a cab silently – or not so silently – wondering where your cab driver is from and what his life is like (and really hasn’t everyone?) then you will be captivated by Nigerian writer Okey Ndibe’s new novel."
—Metro New York

"Unsuppressible, Okey Ndibe’s Foreign Gods, Inc. is a splendid work of art that belongs in every reader’s collection. In a masterful manner, Ndibe manages to blend the traditional belief of his Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria with the challenges that face many young and ambitious African immigrants in the USA. The social benefit of the book is immense." 
—Sahara Reporters 

"Ndibe writes with a folksy inclusiveness. The village humor, the greetings and teasing, lend the Utonki sequences a lyrical magic ... Into this richly stocked brew of characters, Ndibe skillfully introduces suspense in the final stretch, guiding readers through the tension of getting through customs Nigerian-style ... As an author with a foot in Nigeria and the U.S., he expertly brings both worlds to life.
—Shelf-Awareness

"Wonderfully colorful... There's more than a touch of Poe, or perhaps "The Twilight Zone," in the surreal conclusion of this story." 
—The Hartford Courant 

"Race, religion, greed, xenophobia—author Okey Ndibe tackles these sensitive topics and more in the heist novel to end all heist novels." 
Bruce Tierney, BookPage

"This is a heist story like no other.... Ndibe unfurls his rich narrative gradually, allowing room for plenty of character interaction while painting a revealing portrait of contemporary Nigeria. With piercing psychological insight and biting commentary on the challenges faced by immigrants, the novel is as full-blooded and fierce as the war deity who drives the story." 
—BookList 

"On the surface, Foreign Gods, Inc. is a heist book about a Nigerian cab driver in New York trying to steal an ancient statue from his village in Nigeria. But Okey Ndibe’s novel delivers far more than that description suggests, tackling everything from tradition to trying to make it in America, and the way Western countries view the rest of the world." 
Jason Diamond, Flavorwire

"A close associate of the late, great Chinua Achebe, Okey Ndibe adds his voice to a new generation of writers ... Foreign Gods, Inc. features New York-based Nigerian Ike ... [whose] picaresque journey, gently but incisively told, shows us the vagaries of both American and Africa culture."
—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal 

"Ndibe’s novel takes on serious themes of cultural exchange, but it does so in a decidedly comic fashion. All the characters Ike encounters, in New York and in Nigeria, inject their own brands of humor into the story." 
—Chapter16, Tennessee

“Ndibe takes his readers on a transfixing and revelatory journey from bitter bad faith to  hard won, deeply moving and adult redemption.” 
—Francisco Goldman, Say Her Name

Book List

Foreign Gods, Inc. (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781616953133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Soho Press, 9/2013

Location: 
Street:
The Odyssey Bookshop
Additional:
9 College Street
City:
South Hadley
,
Province:
Massachusetts
Postal Code:
01075
Country:
United States