Ghanaian writer Benjamin Kwakyes novel The Sun By Night (Africa World Press, November 2005) has won the 2006 regional Commonwealth writers' best book award. The novel centres around the trial of a respected businessman who stands accused of murdering an Accra prostitute. However, it is also a reflection on the tensions and contradictions inherent in post-colonial Ghana as the country struggles to forge a new identity following independence from Britain in 1957.
Kwakye is a business lawyer based in the United States who writes fiction in his spare time. He rose to fame with his first novel, The Clothes of Nakedness (Heinemann, 1998), also set in Accra, which won him the Africa region Commonwealth writers prize for best first book in 1999. The Sun By Night will now compete against other regional winners On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Eurasia), Alligator by Lisa Moore (Caribbean and Canada) and The Secret River by Kate Grenville (south-east Asia and the south Pacific) in the final stage of the prize, which will be announced in Melbourne, Australia, on 14 March to coincide with the start of the Commonwealth games.