Okey Ndibe teaches fiction and African literature at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He is the author of the novel, Arrows of Rain, which has drawn praise from numerous critics and authors, including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, John Edgar Wideman, Michael Thelwell, and Niyi Osundare. U.K-based New Internationalist magazine described Arrows of Rain as “a powerful and gritty debut.” The magazine also spotlighted Arrows in its October 2001 special edition on “New Fiction from the South.” Ndibe also co-edited (with Chenjerai Hove) a book titled Writers, Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa.
Foreign Gods, Inc., tells the story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery.
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.