Magazine article World Literature Today

The Count's False Banquet

Magazine article World Literature Today

The Count's False Banquet

Article excerpt

Benjamin Kwakye The Count's False Banquet Milwaukee. Cissus World Press. 2017. 563 pages.

Accra-born novelist and Harvard-trained lawyer Benjamin Kwakye's recent novel, The Count's False Banquet, is a phenomenal tale with an enchanting spell. The book completes his trilogy on the African migrant's experiences in America and draws his readers into the concourse of what amounts to an intriguing tale of human endeavor, enterprise, and aspiration that speaks to all.

When Count Crusoe Tutu leaves his native Ghana for the United States, he is full of love and admiration for his new home. After all, circumstances in Ghana force him to make desperate, even shocking choices as he is urged on to false conclusions about both his home and soon-tobe adopted country. Kwakye's magisterial style is on ample display here as he charts a course from Accra to Boston and captures the yearning of the human spirit for selfimprovement against a backdrop of false expectations as the US beckons seductively.

Typical of most of Kwakye's oeuvre, this work must not be read overly literally, although the reader is presented with that choice. The expectation of a better life is mired in the reality of adapting to a new culture that can be hostile at times. The search for acceptance becomes as elusive as a mirage in many instances, pushing the migrant to self-doubt and an unanchored journey that wobbles on hopelessness. At the same time, in the cherished embrace of those that are welcoming, there is hope and encouragement to endure. …

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