Foreign Gods, Inc. | Soho Press | Soho Press is an independent book publisher located in New York City.

Foreign Gods, Inc.

Okey Ndibe

ISBN: 9781616953133

Published: January, 2014

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Paperback $16.00

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Description

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 f...

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.

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Media

“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
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
“A challenging romp of gods and styles.
—John Edgar Wideman, author of Philadelphia Fire
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
“Ndibe writes of cultural clash in a moving way that makes Ike’s march toward disaster inexorable and ineffably sad.
—Kirkus, STARRED Review
“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)
“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
“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
“A freshly and heartbreakingly recast tale of American immigration, with all its longings, disappointments, effacements and reclamations.
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Foreign Gods, Inc. leaves readers with this warning: be mindful about the powers you serve, and careful about the ones you seek to cross.”
—The Rumpus
“Ndibe is a writer’s writer, and this book is a lesson in the art of the novel. ”
–New York Journal of Books
“This is precisely the kind of novel that makes one anti-social. If you find it today, sprint home, throw away your cellphone, bolt the front door and don’t worry too much if you are not up in time for church tomorrow.”
–Daily Nation (Kenya)