In Episode 69, Peace Adzo Medie (author of His Only Wife) talks about why she decided to use fiction to speak out about gender politics, the importance of women asserting themselves, and when she first started writing (it was when she was very young!).
Please note that this episode was recorded before His Only Wife was announced as Reese’s Book Club’s October pick.
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- Why Peace decided to look at gender politics (the subject she teaches) through fiction.
- What she learned from speaking with women who are victims of domestic violence (including why they sometimes choose to stay in these relationships).
- Why she decided not to focus include violence in His Only Wife.
- How common arranged marriages are in Peace’s experience.
- How women are a key part of politics, economics, and social life in Ghana.
- The importance of the day-to-day things women do to assert themselves.
- How the term “respect” is sometimes used to push women to respect men and the problematic treatment of “disrespectful” women.
- Which of the three central female characters Peace aspires to be.
- Why she chose to let Muna exist mostly in the background of the story and whether she ever considered writing portions of the book from Muna’s perspective.
- How Peace decided what the ending would be and whether that changed at all as she was writing.
- When Peace first started writing (she was young!) and why she started writing when she did.
- A bit about Peace’s next novel (which she’s already written).
Peace’s Book Recommendations [34:08]
Two OLD Books She Loves
- Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga | Buy from Amazon [34:21]
- Aerogrammes: and Other Stories by Tania James | Buy from Amazon [37:02]
Two NEW Books She Loves
- The Dragons, the Giant, the Women by Wayetu Moore | Buy from Amazon [39:46]
- A House is a Body by Shruti Swamy | Buy from Amazon [43:09]
One Book She DIDN’T LOVE
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy | Buy from Amazon [46:17]
One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
- Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Release Date: March 30, 2021) | Buy from Amazon [47:21]
Last 5 Star Book Peace Read [49:16]
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo | Buy from Amazon [49:16]
Other Books Mentioned
- The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Buy from Amazon [37:14]
- You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfeld (My Review) | Buy from Amazon [38:47]
- The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James | Buy from Amazon [39:17]
- The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya (My Review) | Buy from Amazon [42:02]
- The Archer by Shruti Swamy [44:52]
- We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge | Buy from Amazon [48:46]
Peace Adzo Medie is a scholar and writer. She is Senior Lecturer in Gender and International Politics at the University of Bristol. Her research addresses gender, politics, and conflict in Africa. Her book, Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence against Women in Africa, was published in March 2020 by Oxford University Press. Her debut novel, His Only Wife, was published in September 2020 by Algonquin Books and selected as the October Pick for Reese’s Book Club. Medie’s research has been supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council, and her findings have been published in African Affairs, International Studies Review, Politics & Gender, and the European Journal of Politics and Gender. Her work has won several awards, including the 2019 Best Paper Award of the European Journal of Politics and Gender. Her short stories have appeared in Slice Magazine, Transition, Four Way Review, and elsewhere. She is a co-editor of African Affairs, the top-ranked African Studies journal and is also a Research Fellow at LECIAD, University of Ghana, and a 2015 – 2017 Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow. She earned a BA in Geography from the University of Ghana, an MA in International Studies from Ohio University, and a PhD in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. She attended OLA Girls Secondary School, Ho. Medie is represented by Kiele Raymond at Thompson Literary Agency.
There will not be a new episode next week since the podcast is on a bi-weekly schedule.
The following week, there will be a full length episode about all things audiobooks featuring Claire Handscombe from Libro.fm (airing November 11).
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