Ben Okri - Author

About the Author

Ben Okri has published many books including The Famished Road, which won the Booker Prize in 1991. His work has been translated into 26 languages and has won numerous international prizes including the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Africa, the Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the Chianti Ruffino-Antico Fattore International Literary Prize and the Premio Grinzane Cavour Prize.

 

The recipient of many honorary doctorates, he is a vice-president of the English Centre of International PEN and was presented the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum for his outstanding contribution to the Arts and cross-cultural understanding in 1995.

 

He has been a Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge and is an honorary fellow of Mansfield College, Cambridge. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1987 he was awarded an OBE in 2001. He was born in Nigeria, and lives in London.

Featured books by Ben Okri

The Magic Lamp: Dreams of Our Age

The Magic Lamp: Dreams of Our Age

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Twenty-five fairy tales for adults, these narratives are a response to our times, informed by our world but not limited by it, imaginative, enchanting, haunting - both prescient and prophetic. Twenty-five original paintings, beautiful, playful, intimate, dreamlike, these works pull you in to a land of colour and vision. Who can say which came first, the word or image, when both grew together out of a long friendship and a creative symbiosis. What if Calvino and Magritte had combined inspiration? What if we could see our world again with a child's eyes? What if there really is a magic lamp?

Other books by Ben Okri

Rise Like Lions Poetry for the Many

Rise Like Lions Poetry for the Many

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/04/2018

In Rise Like Lions, Booker Prize winning writer Ben Okri has compiled a collection of poems that celebrate the many voices of politics, from polemics and rallying cries to lyrics and meditations. Many of these poems have resonated with readers over lifetimes and through generations, from William Blake to Marvin Gaye. In exploring the impact political poems have on ideas, vision, protest, change and truth, Okri demonstrates how the need for this strand of poetry is as great as it has ever been, and its inspiration just as powerful.

The Magic Lamp: Dreams of Our Age

The Magic Lamp: Dreams of Our Age

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Twenty-five fairy tales for adults, these narratives are a response to our times, informed by our world but not limited by it, imaginative, enchanting, haunting - both prescient and prophetic. Twenty-five original paintings, beautiful, playful, intimate, dreamlike, these works pull you in to a land of colour and vision. Who can say which came first, the word or image, when both grew together out of a long friendship and a creative symbiosis. What if Calvino and Magritte had combined inspiration? What if we could see our world again with a child's eyes? What if there really is a magic lamp?

Magic Lamp: Dreams of Our Age

Magic Lamp: Dreams of Our Age

Author: Ben Okri Format: eBook Release Date: 07/09/2017

Twenty-five stories, twenty-five paintings, five years to write, ten years to paint. This is an extraordinary collaboration between artist and artist: the Booker Prize-winning writer Ben Okri and the painter Rosemary Clunie. Together they have created a world, and peopled it with dreams. Twenty-five fairy tales for adults, these narratives are a response to our times, informed by our world but not limited by it, imaginative, enchanting, haunting - both prescient and prophetic. Twenty-five original paintings, beautiful, playful, intimate, dreamlike, these works pull you in to a land of colour and vision. Who can say which came first, the word or image, when both grew together out of a long friendship and a creative symbiosis. What if Calvino and Magritte had combined inspiration? What if we could see our world again with a child's eyes? What if there really is a magic lamp?

The Mystery Feast Thoughts on Storytelling

The Mystery Feast Thoughts on Storytelling

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/10/2015

Packed with ideas and inspiration, The Mystery Feast offers numerous pathways into the magical world of storytelling. Beginning with a poem, 'All we do', Booker prize-winning novelist Ben Okri presents his considered thoughts on the purpose and meaning of stories, concluding with a series of condensed 'Notes to the modern storyteller'. The collection is completed with a 'stoku' - a brief tale on the theme. Based on decades of honing his art, this stimulating booklet gives a glimpse into the mind of a master of contemporary storytelling. 'In every moment, we are part of the infinite stories that the universe is telling us and that we are telling the universe.'

Cooked Up Food Fiction from Around the World

Cooked Up Food Fiction from Around the World

Author: Ben Okri, Krys Lee, Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee, Mukoma Wa Ngugi Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/03/2015

Food can bring together families, communities and cultures. It is the essence of life and yet our relationships with one another can be most fraught at the dinner table. This perpetually fascinating subject has inspired a unique collection of short fiction - including flash fiction, essay and short stories and a stoku (combination of story and haiku). It features international literary figures such as Ben Okri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and Mukoma We Ngugi and emerging writers such as Krys Lee, Nikesh Shukla, Pippa Goldschmidt and Elaine Chiew.

A Way of Being Free

A Way of Being Free

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2015

From Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: twelve of his most controversial non-fiction pieces form this collection on the theme of freedom. Ranging from the personal to the analytical, covering subjects such as art, politics, storytelling and creativity, A WAY OF BEING FREE confirms Okri's place as one of the most inspiring of contemporary writers. 'All I wanted to do was to remind myself at all times to just sing my song. To just sing it through all the difficulties and silences' BEN OKRI.

In Arcadia

In Arcadia

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2015

From Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: a voyage into the enduring myth of Arcadia and the mysterious painting it inspired. A lyrical novel about art and enlightenment that takes the reader from Waterloo Station in London to Paris and a four hundred year old enigma, the painting by Nicolas Poussin known as 'Et in Arcadia Ego'. 'We never write the book we think we are writing. We never read the book we think we are reading' BEN OKRI.

Dangerous Love

Dangerous Love

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2015

From the Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: a classic love story set in a country trying to come to terms with its past. An epic of daily life, DANGEROUS LOVE is a story of doomed love, of star-crossed lovers, separated not by their families, but by the very circumstances of their lives. 'I hope among my novels this one achieves something I have long sought.' BEN OKRI.

Astonishing the Gods

Astonishing the Gods

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2015

From Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: a deceptively simple modern fable with an ancient origin. A young man finds himself living among invisible beings who have built a utopia based on one principle: that we must repeat or suffer every experience until we experience it properly and fully for the first time. 'The hero of this novel finds what he did not seek, and goes where he did not intend to go. As I did in writing it.' BEN OKRI.

Astonishing the Gods

Astonishing the Gods

Author: Ben Okri Format: eBook Release Date: 09/10/2014

From Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: a deceptively simple modern fable with an ancient origin. A young man finds himself living among invisible beings who have built a utopia based on one principle: that we must repeat or suffer every experience until we experience it properly and fully for the first time. 'The hero of this novel finds what he did not seek, and goes where he did not intend to go. As I did in writing it.' BEN OKRI.

Way of Being Free

Way of Being Free

Author: Ben Okri Format: eBook Release Date: 09/10/2014

From Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: twelve of his most controversial non-fiction pieces form this collection on the theme of freedom. Ranging from the personal to the analytical, covering subjects such as art, politics, storytelling and creativity, A WAY OF BEING FREE confirms Okri's place as one of the most inspiring of contemporary writers. 'All I wanted to do was to remind myself at all times to just sing my song. To just sing it through all the difficulties and silences' BEN OKRI.

In Arcadia

In Arcadia

Author: Ben Okri Format: eBook Release Date: 09/10/2014

From Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: a voyage into the enduring myth of Arcadia and the mysterious painting it inspired. A lyrical novel about art and enlightenment that takes the reader from Waterloo Station in London to Paris and a four hundred year old enigma, the painting by Nicolas Poussin known as 'Et in Arcadia Ego'. 'We never write the book we think we are writing. We never read the book we think we are reading' BEN OKRI.

Dangerous Love

Dangerous Love

Author: Ben Okri Format: eBook Release Date: 09/10/2014

From the Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri: a classic love story set in a country trying to come to terms with its past. An epic of daily life, DANGEROUS LOVE is a story of doomed love, of star-crossed lovers, separated not by their families, but by the very circumstances of their lives. 'I hope among my novels this one achieves something I have long sought.' BEN OKRI.

Mental Fight

Mental Fight

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/03/2012

This epic poem by Booker Prize winner Ben Okri is an intimate song of rage and restoration. It speaks to each new moment and each person, like sunlight or like pain. It is an anthem to our ascending dreams, and a hymn of inspiration.

Wild

Wild

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/03/2012

Ben Okri is a prolific Booker-Prize winning novelist and essayist, but has published only two collections of poetry. The first was An African Elegy and the second was Mental Fight. Both were highly regarded. Thus a third collection is a literary event, especially since 13 years have elapsed since his last. As acclaimed for his poetic vision as for the beauty of his language, in these poems Okri captures both the tenderness and the fragility, as well as the depths and the often hidden directions of our lives. To him, the 'wild' is an alternative to the familiar; an essential place in the journey where energy meets freedom, where art meets the elemental, where chaos can be honed. The wild is our link to the stars... Ranging across a wide variety of subjects, from the autobiographical to the philosophical, from war to love, from nature to the difficulty of truly seeing, these poems reconfigure the human condition in unusual light through their mastery of tone and condensed brilliance.

A Time For New Dreams

A Time For New Dreams

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2011

Booker Prize-winning novelist and one of Britain's foremost poets, Ben Okri is a passionate advocate of the written word. In A Time for New Dreams he breaks new ground in an unusual collection of linked essays, which address such diverse themes as childhood, self-censorship, the role of beauty, the importance of education and the real significance of the recent economic meltdown. Proving that 'true literature tears up the script' of how we see ourselves, A Time for New Dreams is provocative and thought-provoking. In an intriguing marriage of style and content, the concise but perfectly formed essays in this collection push the parameters of writing whilst asking profound questions about who we are and the future that awaits us.

Tales of Freedom

Tales of Freedom

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2010

As one of Britain's foremost poets, Ben Okri is rightly acclaimed for his use of language. And as a Booker Prize winning novelist, this skill was shown to particular effect in both Starbook (his most recent work) and in The Famished Road. In Tales of Freedom he brings both poetry and story together in a fascinating new form, using writing and image pared down to their essentials, where haiku and story meet. Thus we discover Pinprop, the slave to an old couple lost in a clearing, who holds the keys to the universe in his quirky hands. Then there is the beautifully dressed black Russian on the train, helping to film a new version of 'Eugene Onegin'. Later, in the chaos of the aftermath of war, orphaned children paint mysterious shapes of bulls, birds, hybrid creatures, and we wonder if grief has unhinged them into genius...And who is that woman, who hardly speaks, who presses a tiny flower into the palm of the young boy on the bus, and then leaves his life forever? Tales of Freedom offers a haunting necklace of images which flash and sparkle as the light shines on them. Quick and stimulating to read, but slowly burning in the memory, they offer a different, more transcendent way of looking at our extreme, gritty world - and show the wealth of freedom that's available beyond the confines of our usual perceptions.

Infinite Riches

Infinite Riches

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2009

In the chaotic world of his African village, the spirit-child Azaro still watches the tumultuous and tender lives of the Living; of his father who has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and of his mother who battles for justice. This final chapter in Azaro's adventures is a explosive and haunting climax to this masterful trilogy.

Starbook

Starbook

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2008

Starbook tells the tale of a prince and a maiden in a mythical land where a golden age is ending. Their fragile story considers the important questions we all face, exploring creativity, wisdom, suffering and transcendence in a time when imagination still ruled the world. A magnificent achievement and a modern-day parable, Starbook offers a vision of life far greater than ourselves.

Stars Of The New Curfew

Stars Of The New Curfew

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/1999

To enter the world of Ben Okri's stories is to surrender to a new reality. Set in the chaotic streets of Lagos and the jungle heart of Nigeria, all the laws of cause and effect, fact and fiction, are suspended. It is a world where the lives of the powerless veer terrifyingly close to nightmare. In rich, lyrical, almost hallucinatory prose Ben Okri guides us through the fabulous and the mundane, the serene and the randomly violent. The unrelenting Nigerian heat and the implacable darkness of the black-out and the military curfew are the backdrops for his characters each finding their own ways to survive. We witness their dogged resistance to impotence, their unquenchable humour and their insistence on the possibility of love in the face of terror. Written with the lucid clarity and logic of dream, Stars of the New Curfew is a book of visionary imagination.

An African Elegy

An African Elegy

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/1997

Dreams are the currency of Okri's writing, particularly in this first book of poems, An African Elegy, but also in his books of short stories and prize-winning novel The Famished Road. Okri's dreams are made on the stuff of Africa's colossal economic and political problems, and reading the poems is to experience a constant succession of metaphors of resolution in both senses of the word. Virtually every poem contains an exhortation to climb out of the African miasma, and virtually every poem harvests the dream of itself with an upbeat restorative ending' - Giles Foden, Times Literary Supplement

Songs Of Enchantment

Songs Of Enchantment

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/02/1994

One great thought can change the dreams of the world. One great action, lived out all the way to the sea, can change the history of the world. The adventures of Azaro, the spirit child, continue. From the bestselling author of The Famished Road comes this radiant sequel.

Incidents At The Shrine

Incidents At The Shrine

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/03/1993

Incidents at the Shrine is the first collection of stories by the author of 1991 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Famished Road. Whether the subject is a child's eye view of the Nigerian Civil War, Lagos and the spirit world or dispossession in a decaying British inner city, Okri's lyrical, poetic and humorous prose recreates the known and the unknown world with startling power.

The Famished Road

The Famished Road

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/1992

WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 1991 So long as we are alive, so long as we feel, so long as we love, everything in us is an energy we can use. He is born into a world of poverty, ignorance and injustice, but Azaro awakens with a smile on his face. Despite belonging to a spirit world made of enchantment, where there is no suffering, Azaro chooses to stay in the land of the Living: to feel it, endure it, know it and love it. This is his story.

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http://benokri.co.uk/

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