Susi Wyss

The Civilized World Susi Wyss Cover

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The Civilized World

A glorious literary debut set in Africa that follows five women—two of them haunted by a shared tragedy—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 that also deeply affects Janice, an American aid worker. But the Precious Brother Salon isn’t just the “cleanest, friendliest, and most welcoming in the city.” It’s also where locals catch up on gossip; where Comfort, an imperious busybody, can complain about her American daughter-in-law; 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 unforgettable women as they discover what it means to need forgiveness—and what it means to forgive.

Extras

Map of AfricaAuthor's personal reflections on the African countries where The Civilized World is set.

Reading Group Guide

"Lost in the Crowd: A local writer on belonging, and not belonging at home and abroad" in Urbanite magazine.

"Susi Wyss' African Adventure" in Washingtonian magazine.