Benjamin Kwakye was born in Accra, Ghana. He attended Dartmouth College and then the Harvard Law School. His first novel The Clothes of Nakedness was published by Heinemann in 1998 and it won the 1999 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Africa Region). It was also adapted for radio as a BBC Play of the Week. His second novel, The Sun by Night was published in 2005 by Africa World Press. It also won the 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Africa Region).
Kwakye's latest novel The Other Crucifix, published by Ayebia Clarke Publishing would be released on June 30, 2010.
The Other Crucifix is a unique epic novel and a welcome addition to the existing genre on the African immigrant experience in America. The novel chronicles the minutiae of the American college experience. It reveals how the most intimate details of the recollection of the protagonist's immersion in that culture leads to his alienation from home and as the years pass by, memories of Africa fade until his Uncle Kusi's death in a coup d'etat. This novel moulds the complex connections, alienations and contradictions inherent in human relations into a pulsating panorama of the African immigration experience in America.
The issue of identity has become a problem and it is one that could be shared by many homes in Africa, especially those which have a relation 'abroad'. Most often, after years of sojourn, they return home with different attitudes and mentality that sometimes affect their speech, their walk, their thinking and every aspect of their living. Thus they undergo social, cultural, spiritual, and physical changes. How are such individuals, who sometimes pretend not to be able to pronounce names of places where they were born, received in such societies. People sometimes watch with awe, whilst others call him names. How then should one balance himself between these two societies?
It is my belief that with time Africans would come to cherish writings from the continent. We are making a mark and it is a mark that would make posterity proud. Let's all support our writers as they set down to document the happenings in society for even science fictions have elements of reality in them.