Monday, November 14, 2016

American, through an immigrant's eyes: Okey Ndibe



Okey Ndibe, who participated in Clark University's Book and Author Dinner in April 2014, has released a memoir, "Never Look an American in the Eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts and the Making of a Nigerian American." The title may give you an indication of Dr. Ndibe's wit—one of the traits that helps immigrants adjust to this country successfully.

Author of the novels "Foreign Gods, Inc." and "Arrows of Rain," he is co-editor of "Writers Writing on Conflicts, and Wars in Africa."

His latest work joins previous publications in receiving critical praise.
"Okey Ndibe brings a keen eye to his delightful and insightful new memoir. His vision is clearer than 20-20. A writer who can arrive in America, be falsely accused of bank robbery in just 10 days, and still manage to keep his sense of humor, is a man with a story to tell. He writes it beautifully," said Sally Denton, author of "The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World."

"Powerful insights into the trials, prospects, and triumphs of being an immigrant in America. In a style that is impressively skillful, Ndibe masterfully conveys the odysseys of his early life in Nigeria as well as his immigrant life in the US," wrote the publication Sahara Reporters.

A former professor at Brown University, Providence, and Trinity College, Hartford, Ndibe lives with his family in West Hartford. He co-founded the journal African Commentary with noted author Chinua Achebe ("Things Fall Apart"). He writes with insight and wit about early struggles in Nigeria and his life as an immigrant. In fact, his essay, "My African Eyes," won him widespread attention for its detailed recollection of his childhood within Biafra's war, from 1967 to 1970.

This memoir, published Oct. 11, tells of Ndibe's move from Nigeria to the United States. He recounts stories of his relationships with Achebe and other writers, compares Nigerian and American etiquette and politics, and takes an insightful look at American stereotypes about Africa (as well as the reverse).

Roy Blount Jr. onboard:

Road trip: The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford will host humorist-author Roy Blount Jr. at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 17, in the museum's Lincoln Financial Auditorium, West Hartford. Blount will read from his latest, "Save Room for Pie," a collection of poetry, songs, essays and "news" about food. Count on it being funny.
A panelist on NPR's lively "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me," Blount is well known to radio fans. But he's also well known in the literary world and even serves as a consultant to at least one prominent dictionary publisher. He's a wit and a word geek: he's lampooned the Pittsburgh Steelers and written about the Marx  Brothers' war satire. He's even written about our common English language in "Alphabet Juice" and "Alphabetter Juice."
Area book groups:
Local author Jim MacIntosh talks about his new thriller, "Witness the Trees," at the 6:30 p.m., Nov. 15, meeting of Leicester Library Book Club. The book concerns a murder among friends camping in the New Hampshire woods.
Members of the book club at Heywood Library, Gardner, have slated "I Am Malala" for their 4:30 p.m., Nov. 30 meeting.
On Tuesday, Nov. 29, members of the Bannister Book Group in Brookfield will meet at 7 p.m. to discuss Kathleen Grissom's "The Kitchen House," the story of an Irish child working alongside slaves on a tobacco plantation.
In North Brookfield, Haston Library Book Group meets at 7 p.m., Dec. 6, to discuss the November/December selection, "Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).
Also on Nov 29, members of the Thayer Memorial Library Book Group will meet to discuss "After the Falls," a memoir by Catherine Gildener, at 6:30 p.m. in Lancaster.

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