The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane

The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy

Paulina Chiziane

As the late, great Aretha Franklin sang: 'Sisters are doin' it for themselves.
Standin' on their own two feet. And ringin' on their own bells.'

And so they are, - all of Tony's five wives led by the formidable first wife Rami. Go Rami! The story opened my eyes to culture I know very little about - polygamy. Would I like to be one of many wives? Not sure. However if this is the life you are born into then you may expect nothing less.


I take his arm and drag him along with me, and he is so weak that he obeys my every command. I get in the driver's seat of his blue car. I know how miserable he's feeling. I know men and their thoughts. They can't abide the idea of being abandoned. I know some who became impotent, who went mad or ended up alcoholics, just because they were cuckolded on a whim. Women are stronger, they overcome desertion with greater courage. They're exchanged each day. Betrayed. Seduced. Abandoned with babies in their arms. Bought. Beaten each day, but they resist.

  • Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah
  • The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

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