Benjamin Kwakye

Selected Works

A collection of three novellas that explore grief and the tenacity of the human spirit.
An epic novel on the African immigrant experience. Winner of the 2011 IPPY Gold Award Multicultural Fiction (Adult )
A novel of intense sibling rivalry that stands as a powerful metaphor of Africa’s socio-political past and present.
"[A] compelling revelation of post-colonial concerns presented through a brilliant weaving together of events... "
--CWP Citation
A compelling portrait of relations between the rich and poor in urban Ghana.
Short Stories
A fantastic tale of Kobi the Magician and his twin brother Paa Quartey.
Short Story
A story about the seeds sown by those who influence us and the aftermath of that influence.

Current Titles

Scrolls of the Living Night -- an epic poem (978-0967951126)

“Kwakye's evocative blend of detail, memory, stories, characters and lyrical commentary makes this book an ambitious project that will have a lasting impact on the reader. Traditional and modern Ghanaian/​African culture clash in this courageous adventure rich with memorable characters, myths, places and sophisticated language.”

Legacy of Phantoms (Africa World Press)

Eyes of the Slain Woman

The Other Crucifix (Winner 2011 IPPY Gold Award Multicultural Fiction Adult )

“The novel raises important questions about identity and belonging as it discusses both Badu’s individual struggles and the more generalized experience of the modern African man.” World Literature Today

“This is a moving and readable story in which one individual’s choices and experiences speak for wider and more universal concerns, encompassing radical upheaval and personal development; crossing borders, crossing continents.” New Internationalist

“With a powerful message of the place of the modern African man, "The Other Crucifix" is a fine read that shouldn't be missed for world literary fiction collections.” Midwest Book Review

“[A] captivating tale of double estrangement… In a nutshell, The Other Crucifix is the handiwork of a literary virtuoso, anchored in the themes of psychological and physical exile and the quest for self-identity. The pedagogical import of this novel resides in its suitability to the young and the old. The language is clear and free of sophistry. Students and teachers with an interest in African history, languages and cultures would find the text an invaluable resource.” Peter W. Vakunta in Pambazuka News

“With The Other Crucifix , Kwakye has given us a book that manages to both entertain and educate, often touching on issues that Africans in the Diaspora have grappled with, as they try to integrate into their adopted countries.” Africa Book Club

“The Other Crucifix stands out because apart from painting for readers the obvious challenges for Africans abroad, such as communication and other familiar things, [it] manages to clearly define the deep questions in the heart about race and differences.” Daily Graphic

"Benjamin Kwakye is a novelist whose genius becomes more apparent with each novel he writes. The Other Crucifix, his third, is a must read for anyone who loves a good story. But this work is no ordinary narrative of the transplanted African in search of an education in the West. Benjamin Kwakye demonstrates why he is the grandmaster of storytelling, and with the creation of Jojo Badu, the often naïve narrator, we come to know a character who by turns is infuriating and endearing, and whom we see mature into a responsible adult. Yet, this is no mere bildungsroman, Benjamin Kwakye’s mastery of the novel’s form and language enables him to economically capture the breath, depth and emotional energies that inform the actions of the characters whose lives speak not only to the specificity of life in an elite Liberal Arts College, or being in Ghana intoxicated by the heady promise of the post-independence era, or caught-up in the transformative period of the U.S. during the 60s and 70s. The Other Crucifix is a modern-day epic that embodies the wisdom of the Sankofa bird as it reviews the last century: the lessons learned or not, the paths taken or untrod, and prepares us, like Jojo, as we finish reading the last page, that “life starts again.” There is hope resonating in this gem of a novel."
Prof. Vincent Odamtten