I am Joseph R. Alila, the author of Sunset on Polygamy (ISBN 1424166845;  ; This work of fiction is the first of  the seven novels and a collection poems I have written in the recent past. This novel addresses the spiritual as well anthropological underpinnings of governance, courtship, marriage, polygamy, remarriage, conflicts in marriages, death and disease among the Luo of East Africa. I have also addressed how these aspects of life affect the understanding and management of the New Disease epidemic (read AIDS) among my people (the Luo).

As a social critic, I believe that my role is to blow the horn, to warn, to praise, to mourn, and to ask questions whenever there is an emergent cultural problem. In this role, I have tried to be an innocent presenter (and sometimes an active presenter) of facts as I see them, and calling human folly what it is.

It is not accidental that female heroines in SUNSET ON POLYGAMY (Felicia the Nyadendi, Nyapora, Megan  and Gina) tend to influence the destiny of their homes and husbands, and that of a whole people. But the power of the woman is a natural consequence of the fact that to the Luo, marriage is a spiritual institution, and the woman is at the center of worship within the home. When polygamy is factored into the marriage equation, marriage becomes one complex religious institutionwith its own dos and don’ts. Now, when the ethical references are frayed and weakened by social decay, marriage in general (and polygamy in particular)  becomes a complex deathtrap in the face of emergent disease epidemcs such as AIDS. When the synptoms of AIDS are confused for that of chira(DhoLuo: deadly curse), the tragedy of our human folly becomes immeasurable.


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