The First Wife - Sale!

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The First Wife (Paperback)
by Paulina Chiziane, translated by David Brookshaw

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After twenty years of marriage, Rami discovers that her husband has been living a double--or rather, a quintuple--life. Tony, a senior police officer in Maputo, has apparently been supporting four other families for many years. Rami remains calm in the face of her husband's duplicity and plots to make an honest man out of him. After Tony is forced to marry the four other women--as well as an additional lover--according to polygamist custom, the rival lovers join together to declare their voices and demand their rights. In this brilliantly funny and feverishly scathing critique, a major work from Mozambique's first published female novelist, Paulina Chiziane explores her country's traditional culture, its values and hypocrisy, and the subjection of women the world over.

"This novel by Chiziane, the first published Mozambiquan female novelist, is daring, biting in its critique." -- Kirkus Reviews

"This is a powerful and angry book... The writing is urgent and surprising... a work of great imagination and creativity." -- A Year of Reading the World

About the Author

PAULINA CHIZIANE was born in an area of Mozambique in 1955 in which communication with the white colonizers was forbidden. She devoted herself to writing in her mid-twenties and became the first Mozambican woman ever to publish a novel. She claims, however, that she is not a novelist: "I am a storyteller... I take my inspiration from tales around the campfire, my first art school." Her works explore themes of race, polygamy, colonization, and cultural change in her country, quietly signaling a new era for African feminism.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR: DAVID BROOKSHAW is a London-born professor of Brazilian Studies at the University of Bristol specializing in comparative literature, translation, and postcolonial Portuguese literature. He has translated works by Mia Cuoto and Onésimo Almeida and compiled an anthology of stories by the Portuguese author José Rodrigues Miguéis.


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