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Kwei Quartey biography

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Kwei Quartey
Photo: Steve Monez

Kwei Quartey

How to pronounce Kwei Quartey: kway quart-ay

Kwei Quartey Biography

Based in Pasadena, California, Kwei Jones Quartey, M.D. is a writer of African crime fiction. He practiced medicine for more than 20 years while simultaneously working as a writer, balancing the two careers by writing early mornings before clinic. However, in 2018, he made the decision to retire from medicine to write full time.

Wife of the Gods, the acclaimed debut in his Inspector Darko Dawson series, was on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List in 2009. A year later, G.O.G. National Book Club awarded him the title of Best Male Author.

In 2020, the Emma Djan Investigations series debuted with the highly praised The Missing American, followed by the sequel Sleep Well, My Lady.

In a starred review, Jane Murphy of Publishers Weekly says, " ... Quartey, also the author of the Darko Dawson series, is one of the strong voices in the current wave of African crime fiction, which provides relevant insight into a continent anxious to maintain its unique identity yet thrive in the twenty-first-century world."

The son of a Black American mother and Ghanaian father, Dr. Quartey is a Ghanaian-American writer who grew up in both Ghana and the United States. His passion is to promote African American writers, African literature, African bestseller fiction, and African mystery writers.

Dr. Quartey feels that African mysteries (sometimes called "Sunshine Noir") deserve a seat at the table of international thrillers and mysteries. His novels are the only contemporary West African mystery series issued by major international publishers such as Penguin-Random House and Soho Press in the United States, and Allison & Busby in the United Kingdom.

Kwei Quartey's website

This bio was last updated on 01/01/2021. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

Kwei Quartey talks about his childhood in Ghana and his first novel, Wife of the Gods, set in a small Ghanaian community where long-buried secrets are about to rise to the surface.

First of all, how do you pronounce your name?
It's pronounced, "Kway Quart-ay." It is a Ghanaian name. The full version is Jones-Quartey.

Your father was Ghanaian. And your mother?
She's African-American. She met my father while he was studying Political Science at Columbia University, New York. They got married and my mother went with my father back to Ghana.

So, you were born in Ghana?
Yes, all three of my brothers and I were born in Accra, the capital.

Did you live in the city?
Both my parents were university lecturers, and we lived on the campus of the University of Ghana on the outskirts of the city.

Did you have the opportunity to visit the States when you were growing up?
The extra perk the university granted my mother in her official status as an "expatriate" was a fully paid trip to the States for her and her children every two years. So we spent many happy summers in New York. Travel was easy because, born to an American mother, my brothers and I were U.S. citizens by the regulations at the time.

Do you think the university environment as you grew up had a lot to do with your interest in writing?
Undoubtedly. Our house was a treasure trove of books. There were hundreds of books, ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Kwei Quartey at BookBrowse
Sleep Well, My Lady jacket Gold of Our Fathers jacket Murder at Cape Three Points jacket Children of the Street jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Kwei Quartey but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Richard Crompton

    Richard Crompton

    Richard Crompton has lived and worked in East Africa since 2005. He has worked as a producer and journalist for the BBC and other international broadcasters.

    In 2010 Richard won the Daily Telegraph ghost story ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Wife of the Gods

    Try:
    Hour of the Red God
    by Richard Crompton

  • John Le Carre

    John Le Carre

    John Le Carré is the pen name of David Cornwell. Cornwell was born in Poole, Dorset (in the South-West of England) in 1931. His father, Ronnie, made and lost his fortune a number of times due to elaborate confidence ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Wife of the Gods

    Try:
    The Constant Gardener
    by John Le Carre

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View all 5 Read-Alikes

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