Book details

Publisher: SOHO PRESS

Published: January 2015
ISBN: 9781616954574
First published: June 2000

Arrows of Rain

This debut novel from the author of the powerful, universally acclaimed Foreign Gods, Inc. looks at a woman’s drowning and the ensuing investigation in an emerging African nation.

A young prostitute runs into the sea and drowns. The last man who spoke to her, the “madman” Bukuru, is asked to account for her death. His shocking revelations land him in court. Alone and undefended, Bukuru must calculate the cost of silence in the face of rampant corruption and state-sponsored violence against women.

Arrows of Rain dramatizes the relationship between an individual and the modern African state. Okey Ndibe examines the erosion of moral insight in both public and private life, drawing out the complex factors behind the near-collapse of a nation.


“Highly evocative.”
—Wole Soyinka

“A fascinating and important story—one that truly must be told.”
–New York Journal of Books

“Ndibe is a gifted writer and an adept storyteller, who clearly exults in the telling.”
—Essence Magazine

“Arrows of Rain is a brooding and powerful first novel from Nigerian Okey Ndibe … a gritty political thriller with real emotional depth which poses vital questions about our responsibility to bear witness; to be the custodian of ‘stories which must be told.’”
—The New Internationalist


“What do you do, Ndibe asks, when you are faced with injustice and total corruption? When to speak will very likely mean your end? A Kafkaesque, imaginative novel of great necessity and power.”
–Kirkus on Arrows of Rain

“This novel does what great novels are supposed to do. It creates a new world that, bigger than ours, closer than ours, more intense than ours, brings us back to where we live with a better understanding of just what our lives mean to those we will never see, touch or know.”
–Rick Kleffel, KQED Public Radio on Arrows of Rain

“Smart and often deftly written, a parable of power and the humanity it strips away … Arrows of Rain remains a novel of resistance — if not political resistance, exactly, then resistance at the level of the soul.”
–David L. Ulin, The Los Angeles Times on Arrows of Rain

“ARROWS OF RAIN is Greek Tragedy…. It serves as a powerful reminder that the imprint of history – its machinations and cultural usurpations, its elevations and denigrations – is not merely on the subsequent chronicle, but on subsequent individual souls as well.”
–The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“The greatest villain in Okey Ndibe’s ARROWS OF RAIN is silence.”
–Vanity Fair