okey-ndibe-memoir

Nigerian novelist Okey Ndibe received the best birthday present any author could ever imagine.

Just two days before his birthday on the 15th of May, the galleys of his new book arrived. He posted a picture of himself holding the book on Facebook with the tag:

“The sheer joy of holding the galley copy of my forthcoming book, “Never Look an American in the Eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 12.46.02 PM

The post has since garnered over 800 likes and 150 comments by well-wishers expressing excitement over the new book.

This comes as no surprise. The author of Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc is a favorite in the African literary community. His work is loved and well-known.

After two novels and decades-long career in literary publishing and criticism, it is a good thing that Ndibe chronicles his experiences in a memoir.

Never Look an American in the Eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American is a “funny, charming, and penetrating memoir,” according to the blurb on Amazon. It also says that the 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 13 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.

Happy belated birthday to Ndibe! And, of course, congrats on the new book.

Click here to pre-order.

Tags: ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

Read Namwali Serpell’s Introduction to the New Edition of Ngugi’s Devil on the Cross

devil on the cross

  Thirty-seven years after it was first published, Ngugi’s Devil on the Cross has a new edition from Penguin Classics, […]

Aaron Bady Explains How Jalada Is a “Revolution Uniting African Literature”

jalada psmag

Founded in 2013, the pan-African collective Jalada is unarguably at the forefront of the reinvention of African literature. In this […]

#CainePrize2017: Review of Chikodili Emelumadu’s “Bush Baby” | By Innocent Chizaram Ilo

chikodili_emelumadu-261x300

It is a Brittle Paper tradition to review the five stories shortlisted for the Caine Prize. Through this, we hope to […]

5 Reasons It’s Important That Victor Ehikhamenor is Calling Out Damien Hirst’s Plagiarism

ife-heads-960x561

Recently, the Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor called out the legendary British maestro, Damien Hirst, for appropriating Nigerian art in one […]

Sarah Waiswa and Farah Ahamed Named Co-winners of the 2017 Gerald Kraak Award

sarah waiswa

The Ugandan-born Kenya-based photographer Sarah Waiswa and the Kenyan writer Farah Ahamed have been named co-winners of the inaugural Gerald […]

When We Talk about Kintu | By Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

image1

When Kwani? launched its Manuscript Project competition in 2012 the stated aim was to find the best unpublished novels by […]