Kwakye, Benjamin 1967-

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KWAKYE, Benjamin 1967-

PERSONAL: Born January 7, 1967, in Accra, Ghana; son of B. S. K. (a police officer) and Victoria (in business; maiden name, Mensah) Kwakye. Ethnicity: "Ashanti." Education: Dartmouth University, B.A., 1990, Harvard University Law School, J.D., 1993. Hobbies and other interests: Soccer.

ADDRESSES: Home—1509 Dobson St., No. 2, Evanston, IL 60202. Office—Hospira, Inc., 275 N. Field Dr., Lake Forest, IL 60045. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, associate attorney, 1993-97; Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, counsel, 1997-2004; Hospira, Inc., Lake Forest, IL, senior counsel, 2004—.

AWARDS, HONORS: Commonwealth Writers Prize, regional prize (Africa), best first book, for The Clothes of Nakedness.

WRITINGS:

The Clothes of Nakedness (novel), Heinemann (Portsmouth, NH), 1998.

The Sun by Night, Africa World Press (Trenton, NJ), in press.

ADAPTATIONS: The novel The Clothes of Nakedness was adapted as a play of the week by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

SIDELIGHTS: Ghanaian author Benjamin Kwakye's debut book, The Clothes of Nakedness, takes place in Accra, Ghana. This award-winning novel examines the dichotomies of wealth and poverty and of integrity and evil. The main character, who goes by the name Mystique Mysterious, introduces evil to a suburb of Accra and brings pain and suffering into people's lives. Mystique can create havoc and turbulence and cause the most well-intentioned people to commit evil deeds. A Publishers Weekly contributor deemed The Clothes of Nakedness a "cautionary tale of greed and excess," noting that while the setting could hold promise of exotic events, it contains "an unsatisfying and forced conclusion."

Kwakye once told CA: "I am afraid that the Publishers Weekly reviewer had a rather narrow and simplistic approach to the book. As a 'Western' reviewer, he or she probably expected a certain genre of book for an African novel. I wonder why a setting must yield a certain expected result. Please note that the book has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for best first book for the Africa region."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Publishers Weekly, April 20, 1998, review of The Clothes of Nakedness, p. 49.