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The Civilized World



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Press Release for The Civilized World

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       
ON SALE: March 29, 2011                                                                             
Also Available as an eBook                                                                               

For More Information Contact:
Melanie DeNardo
646-307-5239
melanie.denardo@hholt.com

 

A DEBUT NOVEL THAT ILLUMINATES THE INTERSECTION OF WOMEN’S LIVES IN AFRICA AND THE UNITED STATES

THE CIVILIZED WORLD

 A Novel in Stories

by Susi Wyss

“In The Civilized World, almost all the characters live, whether from choice or necessity, between countries and cultures. A beautiful and timely book.” —Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street

“[Wyss] beautifully and effortlessly captures the essence of human connection, demonstrating that despite the cultural and personal differences that separate individuals, we are often related by common threads.” 
Library Journal 

“In this smart, urbane debut, characters strive for understanding within a cacophonous modern landscape. Wyss offers nuanced takes on vastly different corners of Africa, transcending travelogue to achieve resonant narratives—sometimes funny, sometimes stark—with both grit and heart.” 
Publishers Weekly

 

THE CIVILIZED WORLD (Holt Paperback Original/On sale: March 29, 2011) is a novel in stories set in Africa and the United States that follows two Ghanaian and three American women as their lives intersect in unexpected and sometimes explosive ways.

When Adjoa leaves Ghana to find work in Ivory Coast, she hopes that one day she’ll return home to open a beauty parlor. Her dream comes true, though not before she suffers a devastating loss—one that will haunt her for years, and one that also deeply affects Janice, an American aid worker who no longer feels she has a place to call home. While Adjoa puts her attention into opening the Precious Brother Salon, Janice meets Ophelia, the wife of an American diplomat, who, unlike Janice, doesn’t see the charm of living in Africa. Once Adjoa opens her bustling salon, it’s not just the “cleanest, friendliest, and most welcoming in the city,” it’s also where locals catch up on their gossip; where Comfort, an imperious busybody, can complain about her American daughter-in-law, Linda; and where Adjoa can get a fresh start on life—or so she thinks, until Janice moves to Ghana and unexpectedly stumbles upon the salon.

At once deeply moving and utterly charming, THE CIVILIZED WORLD follows five women as they face meddling mothers-in-law, unfaithful partners, and the lingering aftereffects of violence, only to learn that their cultural differences are outweighed by their common bond as women. With intimate and lovely prose, Susi Wyss explores what it means to need forgiveness—and what it means to forgive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susi Wyss’s fiction is influenced by her twenty-year career managing women’s health programs in Africa, where she lived for more than eight years. She holds a B.A. from Vassar, an M.P.H. from Boston University, and an M.A. in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. The Civilized World is her first book. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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THE CIVILIZED WORLD: A Novel in Stories
by Susi Wyss
On Sale: March 29, 2011
Holt Paperback Original • 256 pages • ISBN: 978-0-8050-9362-9 • $15.00
Available as an eBook • ISBN: 978-1-4299-7197-3 • $9.99
www.macmillan.com/thecivilizedworld and www.susiwyss.com 

 

TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, PLEASE CONTACT: melanie.denardo@hholt.com, 646-307-5239