Okey Ndibe is the author of the memoir Never Look an American in the Eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American (2016), the novels Foreign Gods, Inc. (2014) and Arrows of Rain (2000), and co-editor (with Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove) of Writers Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa (2009). The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Mosaic magazine named Foreign Gods, Inc. one of the 10 best books of 2014. The novel was also included in National Public Radio’s list of best books of 2014.
Ndibe earned MFA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has taught at several universities including Brown University, Trinity College, Simon’s Rock College, Connecticut College in New London, and the University of Lagos in Nigeria where he taught as a Fulbright scholar. His commitment to teaching has been recognized in manifold ways, particularly by Trinity College’s student newspaper, naming Ndibe one of the top 15 professors that students should take a class with before graduating. Simon’s Rock College awarded Ndibe with a new faculty teaching award, and the student newspaper for Connecticut College in New London listed Ndibe as among five of the most outstanding professors in the college.
He first came to the United States to be the founding editor of African Commentary, a US-based international magazine published by the late great novelist Chinua Achebe. Among the magazine’s columnists were Achebe, Nadine Gordimer, Kofi Awoonor, Ben Okri, Michael Ekwueme Thelwell, John Edgar Wideman, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, and Johnetta Cole. Ndibe later served as an editorial writer for Hartford Courant, the oldest continuously published newspaper in the US, where one of his essays, “Eyes To The Ground: The Perils of the Black Student,” was chosen by the Association of Opinion Page Editors as the best opinion piece in an American newspaper in 2000, and another essay, “Unwarranted Graphic Authentication,” was named the 2001 best opinion piece by the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. His opinion pieces have been published by numerous publications, including The New York Times, BBC online, Al Jazeera online, Financial Times, Fabian Society Journal, and Nigeria’s Daily Sun, where his widely syndicated weekly column appears. He is currently working on a novel titled Return Flights. He spent the 2015-2016 academic year as a Black Mountain Institute fellow at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Never Look an American in the Eye, Soho Press, 2016
Foreign Gods, Inc., Soho Press, 2014.
Arrows of Rain, Heinemann, 2000
Ed. Okey Ndibe & Chenjerai Hove. Writers Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa, Adonis & Abbey Publishers, 2009.