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Foreign Gods, Inc.
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message 1: by ConnorD (new) - added it

ConnorD | 181 comments Any volunteers to lead this discussion thread?


message 2: by ConnorD (last edited Feb 03, 2014 04:22AM) (new) - added it

ConnorD | 181 comments New York Times review for Foreign Gods, Inc

http://www.asknanaking.com/okey-ndibe...

Author background:
Okey Ndibe (born 1960) is a novelist, political columnist, and essayist. Of Igbo ethnicity, Ndibe was born in Yola, Nigeria. He is the author of Arrows of Rain, a critically acclaimed novel published in 2000. He relocated to the United States in 1988 to serve as founding editor of African Commentary, a magazine described as "award-winning and widely acclaimed." Ndibe's essay, "My Biafran Eyes," about his childhood experience of war, is published in the Dzanc Best of the Web 2008. He teaches fiction and African literature at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. His poetry is published in New West African Poets, edited by the Gambian writer, Tijan Sallah. Ndibe has taught at Simon's Rock of Bard College in Great Barrington, MA, Connecticut College, New London, CT, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). He is finishing work on a new novel titled foreign gods, incorporated as well as a memoir, An African Doing Dutch in America. Ndibe is co-editor (with the Zimbabwean writer, Chenjerai Hove) of a collection of essays titled Writers, Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa (Adonis Abbey, 2009).


Beverly Here also is a link to the author's website:
http://www.okeyndibe.com/

Has anyone read the author's first novel?
Arrows of Rain


Shannon I'm planning going to pick up the book today on my lunch break. I'm hoping to finish it this week before I go hear him discuss the book on Saturday. Are there any guidelines to leading the discussion. I may be able to do it unless you're looking for someone who has already read it.


Beverly Shannon wrote: "I'm planning going to pick up the book today on my lunch break. I'm hoping to finish it this week before I go hear him discuss the book on Saturday. Are there any guidelines to leading the discussi..."

Do let us know about the book meeting.

I was just about to ask if anyone else is reading this book.
I started yesterday and am finding it an engaging read - like the dark humor against the subtle and not so subtle political overtones - touching on immigration, perceptions of "making money in America" and the belief/religious conflicts.


message 6: by Donald (new) - added it

Donald | 126 comments Shannon wrote: "I'm planning going to pick up the book today on my lunch break. I'm hoping to finish it this week before I go hear him discuss the book on Saturday. Are there any guidelines to leading the discussi..."

Thank you Shannon would be great if you could lead the discussion .. Thanks

We are open about how discussions are led, so please feel free to engage as as you see fit.


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane Brown (Diane_Brown) | 38 comments Beverly wrote: "Here also is a link to the author's website:
http://www.okeyndibe.com/

Has anyone read the author's first novel?
Arrows of Rain"


Beverly I have not read his first book, looking forward to starting this one soon


Beverly One of things I liked about Foreign Gods, Inc. is the author's storytelling and writing style. That is usually what will grab in the first chapter in the book that makes me keep reading.


Shannon Beverly wrote: "One of things I liked about Foreign Gods, Inc. is the author's storytelling and writing style. That is usually what will grab in the first chapter in the book that makes me keep reading."

Only 15 pages into the book I came across this beautifully written passage, "The sun had vanished. Dense, lumbering clouds loomed. Lightning signed the sky. There followed a, slow liquid, growl. A sky-sized monster's after-meal belch. Ike wanted to fight off the word rainstorm, but couldn't."

I'm definitely enjoying the writing style. I suppose I should add an official "talking point" to begin the moderation. I'll do so later this evening.


message 10: by Shannon (last edited Feb 27, 2014 01:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shannon Prior to Ike's return to Nigeria to secure Ngene, we observe a pattern in his behavior. First with his ex-wife, Queen Bee. He was cautious about her when they met, but the need to secure his green card allowed him to ignore his reservations about her. Then with the whiskey. He never drank it before, but his inability to sleep caused him to make an exception. And when he initially was appalled by the article about Gruels, the gods seller. But now needing more money because of his divorce, the idea of doing business with Gruels doesn't seem as repulsive. Is this foreshadowing? Does this indicate that Ike is flawed in this regard, lacking discipline of sorts and thus more susceptible to committing acts of thievery?


Beverly Shannon wrote: "Prior to Ike's return to Nigeria to secure Ngene, we observe a pattern in his behavior. First with his ex-wife, Queen Bee. He was cautions about her when they met, but the need to secure his green ..."

Interesting question. Yes, I believe what we learn about Ike in the beginning helps to set reader's expectation (well it did set my expectations)on what to expect from him in the future.
What I saw in Ike is someone who started out playing by the "rules" and having perhaps false expectations what how easy it was to "achieve" success in the US. It is obvious that while he thinks he has thought things through - he really did not. Often times it seems like he had blinders on when he had something in his sight - and did not see the factors/actions that would hinder him from achieving his goal.
I do not think this made him susceptible to committing acts of thievery - just short-sighted.


Shannon Looks like me and Beverly are the only two that made it through the book! Has anyone else been able to finish this one yet?


Leslie Reese Hi Beverly and Shannon - I did finish the book, enjoyed it and reviewed it but I was late! With regard to Ike's character, I, too was able to feel how desperate he had become after having made all of these unsuccessful overatures. Love and success in the U.S. were so elusive for him. Remember how his family and friends in Nigeria all assumed he was a big man, a rich man? He had been expecting great things to happen for himself for 15 years and what did he have to show for himself?


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