Married to Africa: a love story
“Zachary’s witty tale of opposites attracted also provides an illuminating portrait of African and American daily lives." -- Kirkus
"The narrative skips back and forth across the duration of their relationship, opening with their wedding in 2003 at San Francisco's City Hall, both decked out in white Nigerian lace. Along the way, Zachary explores the universal mysteries of marriage, using the rather heightened and unusual elements of his own, while delving headlong into its complex racial components.
He does this most sharply in the chapters involving their families, extended and otherwise. For example, when the newlyweds move to Zachary's hometown of Berkeley, they live on the same property as his ex-wife (in a backyard cottage while a buyout of the main house is negotiated). This fact sends Chizo's mother, Edith, into a paranoid frenzy: She is convinced that the ex-wife will poison Chizo, and solicits her church congregation in Nigeria to pray for Chizo's protection. Zachary spends many hours on the phone trying to reassure both Edith and her pastor.
No poisoning occurs, though, in a misunderstanding over what constitutes "trimming," after Chizo takes a machete to Zachary's ex-wife's garden. Peace is restored through many helpings of Chizo's homemade pepper soup."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"Zachary thinks Africa is often viewed as a monolithic disaster of civil wars and starvation, and the developed world often comes to it with the attitude of 'what can we do for you?' rather than 'what can we do for each other?'" -- The Oregonian