in conversation with Okey Ndibe
Wednesday, November 3, 5:30pm Central
Join us as we celebrate the publication of the first novel by Nigerian author Uwem Akpan, New York, My Village (W.W. Norton). In this immigrant novel, Akpan writes about NYC with the same promise and pain we saw in the African cities he depicted in his acclaimed short story collection, Say You're One of Them. "New York City has always mystified me since I first spent two weeks in the Bronx in 1993," he says. "It was only when I lived in Manhattan in 2013 that I began to understand the metro system, to visit the different neighborhoods, to enjoy the endless ethnic dishes. It didn't also take long before I discovered the city's crazy underbelly.” At this special Rain Taxi event, Akpan will be in conversation with fellow Nigerian writer Okey Ndibe!
About the Authors
Uwem Akpan was born in Ikot Akpan Eda in Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. Uwem's short stories and autobiographical pieces have appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, and his first book, Say You're One of Them (Little, Brown, 2008) made several "Best of the Year” lists; the collection of short stories also won the Commonwealth Prize, the Open Book Prize, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was a 2009 Oprah Book Club selection. A New York Times bestseller, it has been translated into 12 languages. Akpan has received numerous fellowships for his writing, and teaches in the University of Florida's MFA Program.
Okey Ndibe is the author of several books including the novel Foreign Gods, Inc., named one of the 10 best books of 2014 by The New York Times, National Public Radio, and numerous other places. Ndibe earned MFA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has taught at Brown University, Trinity College, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). He first came to the U.S. to be the founding editor of African Commentary, an international magazine published by the late great novelist Chinua Achebe. Ndibe later served as an editorial writer for Hartford Courant, 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. His opinion pieces have been published by numerous publications, including The New York Times, BBC online, and the (Nigerian) Daily Sun, where his widely syndicated weekly column appears. He is currently working on a new novel and a series of essay vignettes based on his immigrant experiences.