Book Review: Never look an American in the eye by Okey Ndibe

I enjoyed too many stories in this memoir but I will only highlight a few of them. I enjoyed the story about how he came to America even though he was initially denied a visa. I thought he was very lucky to have known someone who had the kind of power to influence a visa decision. In addition to that, he was personally invited to America by Prof. Chinua Achebe to take on the role of the founding editor of the first ever African Commentary magazine.

I also enjoyed Karen’s story about searching for her biological father. Karen is an African American woman who didn’t know anything about her father mostly because her mother refused to tell her. But eventually, while on her death bed, her mother revealed that her father was a Nigerian, and this was all Karen needed to decide to travel to Nigeria until she met Okey Ndibe. I was glad to find out it was a happy ending for her. This, to me, showed what a good man Prof. Ndibe is because not a lot of people would take up such a task considering the first bad impression Karen gave him.

My most favorite was the story about how he met his wife. I loved the fact that he saved it for last. In my opinion, that was the best story overall. In fact, it should be written as a stand alone novel and if possible turned into a movie. ๐Ÿ™‚

Some of his experiences and stories were very similar to some of the things we all have experienced or discovered at a certain point in our lives while living in America. Like finding out Americans don’t eat rice on Christmas Day (I thought this was very funny and he was a bit extra in handling the situation) or finding out Americans treat their pets as humans and even in some cases, better than humans.

This is my first time ever reading a memoir and I’m hoping it won’t be my last. I’ve always stayed away from memoirs because I judged them (yes, before opening them) as boring. But this memoir was anything but boring. I admit some of the stories weren’t as interesting as others but it was generally an interesting and entertaining memoir. I enjoyed reading how the foundation for his first book, “Arrows of Rain” was laid. That was the book that introduced me to Okey Ndibe. And also the book that made him my favorite African author.

I will love to thank his publisher for sending me the unedited copy for free. The memoir will be released this fall, make sure to grab a copy.


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