His Only Wife
Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course–Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, a place of wealth and sophistication where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not?
His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance. And in Afi, Peace Medie has created a delightfully spunky and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.
Peace Adzo Medie is a Ghanaian writer and senior lecturer in gender and international politics at the University of Bristol in England. Prior to that she was a research fellow at the University of Ghana. She has published several short stories, and her book Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa was published by Oxford University Press in 2020. She is an award-winning scholar and has been awarded several fellowships. She holds a PhD in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in geography from the University of Ghana. She was born in Liberia.
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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020
One of BuzzFeed’s “29 Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Year”
A Must-Read Novel: The New York Times Book Review * BuzzFeed * Marie Claire * Parade * Travel + Leisure * Ms. Magazine * Bustle * The Millions * Book Riot * Christian Science Monitor * HelloGiggles
“[A] mesmerizing debut novel.”
— The New York Times Book Review
“A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose.”
“I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast . . . It’s all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.”
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