Podcast Episode 69: Peace Adzo Medie (Author of His Only Wife)

Peace Adzo Medie


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.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).


  • 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

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book Peace Read [49:16]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Peace

Peace Adzo MedieWebsite | Instagram

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 PressHer 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 MagazineTransitionFour 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

Next Episode

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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Peace Adzo Medie


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