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presenting His Only Wife: A Novel in conversation with WAYÉTU MOORE
Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series and GrubStreet welcome PEACE ADZO MEDIE—author of Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa—for a discussion of her debut novel, His Only Wife. She will be joined in conversation by acclaimed writer WAYÉTU MOORE, author of She Would Be King: A Novel and The Dragons, The Giant, The Women: A Memoir.
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About 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.
Praise for His Only Wife
“Peace Adzo Medie’s mesmerizing debut novel lives up to both the power of its first sentence and the promise of its author’s first name. This is not a book to read with one eye on a beach volleyball tournament; it’s a story to soak up in silence, on a long, cloudy afternoon when you have time to think . . . At a time when adventure is scarce, Medie gives you a lot to look forward to, think about and be grateful for.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A hilarious, page-turning, sharply realized portrait of modern womanhood in the most infuriating of circumstances. A gem of a debut.” —Wayétu Moore, author of She Would Be King
“Medie gives Afi a voice that winningly combines insecurity, wisdom and dignity . . . The dramas of Afi’s marriage and various family conflicts offer an entertaining plot rich with humor, but it is the story of the strong woman in a challenging and changing world that will capture readers’ hearts. His Only Wife is a memorable novel of personal growth and choosing one’s own destiny . . . [A] winning debut.” —Shelf Awareness