Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kwei Quartey

From a Q & A with Kwei Quartey about his new novel, Wife of the Gods:

Your book is called WIFE OF THE GODS. What does that title mean?

One of the reasons why WIFE OF THE GODS is intriguing as a title is that, just like the book itself, it melds the physical world with another realm in which magical and supernatural powers are believed to exist. I'll explain what I mean by that. All of us wonder why bad things happen. Why do we have disease? Why do we have suffering? Why did your aunt Mary, a perfectly lovely person, get breast cancer, why did Dad die of liver disease? As a doctor, I could offer you a list of causes, but in many ways, it still leaves you cold, doesn't it? Why do we need suffering in the first place? What is it there for, and what purpose does it serve?

In Ghana, where WIFE OF THE GODS is set, many people believe that spells, curses, witchcraft and the power of various gods can bring about misfortune - disease, suffering, and as in this story, murder. All these aspects come together in the book, and when you read it, you'll understand why the title is so central to the story itself.

I have to add that as a doctor, I don't scorn people's attempts to explain suffering through the supernatural or the paranormal, because I don't have all the answers either. There are still many, many diseases that are a mystery to the medical community, and in fact, even with advanced technology we still find ourselves at a loss as to what a particular patient has, and sometimes we never arrive at a diagnosis.

What aspects of your life in Ghana are seen in WIFE OF THE GODS?

One aspect was the side-by-side existence of beliefs in the supernatural with modern science. Many...[read on]
Read an excerpt from Wife of the Gods, and learn more about the book and author at Kwei Quartey's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Wife of the Gods.

--Marshal Zeringue