Never Look an American in the Eye (Hardcover)
A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian Amiercan
Soho Press, 9781616957605, 224pp.
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
The author of Foreign Gods, Inc. and Arrows of Rain tells his own immigrant's tale, where what is lost in translation is often as hilarious as it is harrowing. Okey Ndibe's funny, charming, and penetrating memoir tells of his move from Nigeria to America, where he came to edit the influential--but forever teetering on the verge of insolvency--African Commentary magazine. It recounts stories of Ndibe's relationships with Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and other literary figures; examines the differences between Nigerian and American etiquette and politics; recalls an incident of racial profiling just thirteen days after he arrived in the US, in which he was mistaken for a bank robber; considers American stereotypes about Africa (and vice-versa); and juxtaposes African folk tales with Wall Street trickery. All these stories and more come together in a generous, encompassing book about the making of a writer and a new American.
About the Author
Okey Ndibe first came to the US to act as founding editor of African Commentary, a magazine published by Chinua Achebe. He has taught at Brown University, Connecticut College, Simon's Rock College, Trinity College, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). He is the author of two novels, Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc., and his award-winning journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Hartford Courant. Mr. Ndibe lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, with his wife, Sheri, and their three children.