One Book One College

The book for the Spring 2019 semester will be Never look an American in the eye: A Memoir of flying turtles, colonial ghost, and the making of a NIgerian American by Okey Ndibe. The author will be visiting HCC on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 12:30PM in the Events Center, including a book signing.

Click here for information on ordering a copy of the book.

CT Humanities
The program is made possible with a grant from CT Humanities.

March 25, 12:30, Beacon Hall Events Center
Start Here, Go Further: Using Community Colleges to Springboard into Your Ideal Life
Panel moderated by Alese Mulvihill
In his memoir, Okey Ndibe talks about his experiences in higher education and the value it brought to his life and career. Join us as HCC staff and faculty panelists share their personal education and life stories. This event will also include student-to-student discussion imagining their best possible life 10 years from now.

March 26, 12:30, Beacon Hall Events Center
Globalization of Immigration
Lecture by Saulo Colon

March 27, 5:30, Beacon Hall Events Center
What’s Up, Doc? Trickster Folklore Around the World
Lecture by Hamish Lutris This one-hour talk will center on one of the most universal and beloved characters in literature, the Trickster. From Coyote to Loki to Mbeku to Bugs Bunny and Old Scratch, whether mammal, reptile, or lawyer, the trickster has been a mainstay of spoken and written mythology since people first gathered to listen, learn, and be entertained.

March 28, 11:00, Beacon Hall 271
Writers’ Q & A with author, Okey Ndibe
Ndibe will meet with Professor Smith’s Creative Writing class and interested writers to discuss the writing and publication processes and to answer questions.

March 28, 12:30, Beacon Hall Events Center
Author Talk and Book Signing with Okey Ndibe
Our featured event! Okey Ndibe will read from and discuss his memoir, Never Look an American in the Eye. There will also be time for Q & A from the audience as well as a book signing.

March 28, 5:30, Lafayette Hall Performing Arts Center Lobby
Reception with Okey Ndibe and the interACTion symposium
One Book, One College and the interACTion symposium have joined together to share the week of their events and also a theme of immigration. To celebrate, they’ll also be sharing a closing reception! Enjoy refreshments while you mingle with Okey Ndibe and other attendees. Stay afterward for a Broadway Beyond Borders concert in the Performing Arts Center!

About the Author

Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe is the author of the novels Never look an American in the eye: A Memoir of flying turtles, colonial ghost, and the making of a Nigerian American, Foreign Gods, Inc. and Arrows of Rain, and co-editor (with Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove) of Writers Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa. Janet Maslin of The New York Times as well as 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 Brown University in Providence, RI, Trinity College in Hartford, CT (where the student newspaper named him one of 15 professors students should take classes with before graduating), Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, MA (where he won a new faculty teaching award), Connecticut College in New London, CT (where the student newspaper included him on a list of “five outstanding professors”), and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar).

He first came to the US 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 CT 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 the (Nigerian) Daily Sun, where his widely syndicated weekly column appears. He is currently working on a novel titled Return Flights as well as a non-fiction book, Going Dutch and other American Mis/Adventures, a series of essay vignettes based on his immigrant experiences.

He will 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: A Memoir of flying turtles, colonial ghost, and the making of a NIgerian American by Okey Ndibe

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