Scrolls of the Living Night is a poem 348 pages long, or rather a story told in verse, divided into three books. It is an epic poem that explores the conflicts between good and evil. It is written in a style and form that is reminiscent of Derek Walcott's Omeros. 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.
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"Kwakye's ballad follows over 300 pages of stunning un-metered ABAB scheme, laced with rich descriptive ... narrative constantly moving, Kwakye alternates between various character scenes, centered on the Kobis, the Quarteys, the three midwives... the twin brothers. Of particular interest is the way Kwakye incorporates traditional culture aspects within a modern-day scenario...Filled with a flurry of twists and turns, Scrolls of the Living Night is not only a delightful welcome to African literature, but also a refreshing read for poetry aficionados."Manhattan Book Review
"Benjamin Kwakye's Scrolls of the Living Night... cleverly follows the life unfoldings of a boy subject to emotional turmoil and intense pressures and expectations in his family, using the idea of a happy child as a basis for comparison. Presented in a loose ABAB rhyming format and rife with symbols and abstractions, yet written in sentence style, this work of fiction is a nice hybrid of both poetry and prose.... [a] thought-provoking treatise on an important subject."
San Francisco Book Review December 2015
"...Rhyming quatrains move the story along with wit and grace, and despite the tragic outcome, Kwakye's writing contains exuberant humor, often sexual or scatological, and cutting insights into human nature, especially the hypocrisy and sycophancy ofthe hangers-on who feed off the powerful with "faked genuflections and wordy words. "A darkly humorous modern take on the fleeting triumph of money, corruption, deceit, and evil." - KirKus Reviews
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