"These insightful stories, some set in a beauty salon, explore the moving, often clueless relationships between Ghanaian and American women."—O Magazine
In this smart, urbane debut . . . 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
"Wyss grants her appealing characters a mesmerizing mixture of fresh starts, second chances, forgiveness, and redemption."—Booklist
"[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
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.
Adjoa had been going to Madame Janice's every week for the last three months, but she still couldn't put her finger on why her stomach clenched and her shoulders stiffened every time her twin brother, Kojo, drove her to the white woman's well-kept house. Madame Janice was a perfectly pleasant American lady who seemed to appreciate Adjoa's massages. Other than the African masks and statues displayed prominently in the living room, other than the rather rude night watchman, there was really nothing about Madame Janice or her home that could account for Adjoa's anxiety.
Susi Wyss On Writing The Civilized World