This month we will be discussing ‘Foreign Gods, Inc” by Okey Ndibe
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.
London edition of the African Reading Group (ARG!) meets on the first Sunday of each month
The group is there to help readers keep up with the explosion of literature coming out of Africa and its diaspora. We are a ‘new voice’ reading group, focussing on short story collections, novels and some critical or non-fiction. From time to time we may go back to a classic of African literature — but the emphasis is on the new.
The books will be available at meetings to buy from Book and Kitchen