Ike’s plan is fueled by desperation. Despite a degree in economics from a major American college, his strong accent has barred him from the corporate world. Forced to eke out a living as a cab driver, he is unable to manage the emotional and material needs of a temperamental African American bride and a widowed mother demanding financial support. When he turns to gambling, his mounting losses compound his woes.
And so he travels back to Nigeria to steal the statue, where he has to deal with old friends, family, and a mounting conflict between those in the village who worship the deity, and those who practice Christianity.
A meditation on the dreams, promises and frustrations of the immigrant life in America; the nature and impact of religious conflicts; an examination of the ways in which modern culture creates or heightens infatuation with the “exotic,” including the desire to own strange objects and hanker after ineffable illusions; and an exploration of the shifting nature of memory, Foreign Gods is a brilliant work of fiction that illuminates our globally interconnected world like no other.
COMING SOON IN PAPERBACK & EBOOK
First Published: June, 2000
Reissues: September 30, 2014
“First rate fiction.” —John Edgar Wideman, author of Philadelphia Fire
Originally published in Heinemann’s prestigious “African Writers Series,” Arrows of Rain is being published for the first time in the US.
Set in a fictitious post-colonial African nation, the discovery of the body of a drowned prostitute leads to an exploration of the conflict between an individual and the modern African state. A gripping study of truth, silence and the abuse of power.
Reviews of “Foreign Gods, Inc.”
Selected as a Best Book of January by Amazon, Publishers Weekly, GQ, and Flavorwire.
“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
“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
“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
“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 morality tale for our time … With subtle hints at moral turmoil, a gift for dark humour, and characterisation that is perceptive and neatly observed, Ndibe manages to persuade the reader to root for Ike, even as his haphazard plans begin to unravel.” —The Guardian (UK)