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, Inc. is a brilliant work of fiction that illuminates our
globally interconnected world like no other.
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