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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?

ebook of the month

Other books by Ben Okri

Prayer for the Living

Prayer for the Living

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Topical and timely, Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri's new collection of short stories blur parallel realities and walk the line between darkness and magic. Is what you see all there is? Look again. Playful, frightening, even shocking - the stories in this collection blur the lines between illusion and reality. This is a writer at the height of his power, making the reader think, making them laugh, and sometimes making them want to look away while holding their gaze. Stories here are set in London, in Byzantium, in the ghetto, in the Andes, in a printer's shop in Spain. The characters include a murderer, a writer, a detective, a man in a cave, a man in a mirror, two little boys, a prison door, and the author himself. There are twenty-three stories in all. Each one will make you wonder if what you see in the world is all there is...

Prayer for the Living

Prayer for the Living

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Topical and timely, Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri's new collection of short stories blur parallel realities and walk the line between darkness and magic. Is what you see all there is? Look again. Playful, frightening, even shocking - the stories in this collection blur the lines between illusion and reality. This is a writer at the height of his power, making the reader think, making them laugh, and sometimes making them want to look away while holding their gaze. Stories here are set in London, in Byzantium, in the ghetto, in the Andes, in a printer's shop in Spain. The characters include a murderer, a writer, a detective, a man in a cave, a man in a mirror, two little boys, a prison door, and the author himself. There are twenty-three stories in all. Each one will make you wonder if what you see in the world is all there is...

The Freedom Artist

The Freedom Artist

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

One of 2019's most anticipated novels in THE TIMES, IRISH TIMES and GUARDIAN. 'Where fiction's master of enchantments stares down a real horror, and without blinking or flinching, produces a work of beauty, grace and uncommon power' MARLON JAMES, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015. An impassioned plea for freedom and justice, set in a world uncomfortably like our own, by the Man Booker-winner Ben Okri. In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization. To find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question. Karnak's search leads him into a terrifying world of lies, oppression and fear at the heart of which lies the Prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth. The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri's most significant novel since the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms. 'Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three - literature, culture and vision - are profoundly interwoven' ALI SMITH.

A Time for New Dreams

A Time for New Dreams

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

A collection of exquisitely crafted essays by Ben Okri, one of Britain's foremost poets, and a Booker Prize-winning novelist, that explore such diverse themes as childhood and creativity, beauty, censorship, art and politics. 'A single line,' writes Ben Okri, 'can lead the mind to terraces of contemplation. Naturally it depends on the line and the view.' This is a collection of exquisitely crafted essays on themes as diverse as childhood and creativity, beauty, censorship, art and politics. They are responses to the world and the times we live in. They ask unsettling questions. They provoke thoughts and they make us dream. 'Profound and enchanting' The Times. 'There can be no mistaking Okri's passion and intelligence. A powerful piece of work' Sunday Telegraph.

The Comic Destiny

The Comic Destiny

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

As one of Britain's foremost poets, Ben Okri brings both poetry and story together, paring writing and image down to their essentials. This significant title story 'The Comic Destiny' forms the centrepiece of this collection, complemented by thirteen magical stokus. In his new introduction Ben Okri describes it as a talisman, an alchemic instigator for much of his later work. The stoku is a blend of story and haiku. And thirteen, according to the author, is the number of liberation. All these stories are about freedom. They flow easily, but burn slowly. And they offer the possibility of freedom beyond the confines of our usual perception. 'Moments of genuine insight and poetry' Guardian. 'Okri's writing has a light-as-air elegance, yet its seriousness keeps the stories gravity bound' New Statesman.

The Freedom Artist

The Freedom Artist

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/02/2019

One of 2019's most anticipated novels in THE TIMES, IRISH TIMES and GUARDIAN. 'Where fiction's master of enchantments stares down a real horror, and without blinking or flinching, produces a work of beauty, grace and uncommon power' MARLON JAMES, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015. An impassioned plea for freedom and justice, set in a world uncomfortably like our own, by the Man Booker-winner Ben Okri. In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization. To find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question. Karnak's search leads him into a terrifying world of lies, oppression and fear at the heart of which lies the Prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth. The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri's most significant novel since the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms. 'Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three - literature, culture and vision - are profoundly interwoven' ALI SMITH.

The Freedom Artist

The Freedom Artist

Author: Ben Okri Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 07/02/2019

One of 2019's most anticipated novels in THE TIMES, IRISH TIMES and GUARDIAN. 'Where fiction's master of enchantments stares down a real horror, and without blinking or flinching, produces a work of beauty, grace and uncommon power' MARLON JAMES, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015. An impassioned plea for freedom and justice, set in a world uncomfortably like our own, by the Man Booker-winner Ben Okri. In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization. To find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question. Karnak's search leads him into a terrifying world of lies, oppression and fear at the heart of which lies the Prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth. The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri's most significant novel since the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms. 'Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three - literature, culture and vision - are profoundly interwoven' ALI SMITH.

The Freedom Artist

The Freedom Artist

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/01/2019

One of 2019's most anticipated novels in THE TIMES, IRISH TIMES and GUARDIAN. 'Where fiction's master of enchantments stares down a real horror, and without blinking or flinching, produces a work of beauty, grace and uncommon power' MARLON JAMES, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015. An impassioned plea for freedom and justice, set in a world uncomfortably like our own, by the Man Booker-winner Ben Okri. In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization. To find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question. Karnak's search leads him into a terrifying world of lies, oppression and fear at the heart of which lies the Prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth. The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri's most significant novel since the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms. 'Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three - literature, culture and vision - are profoundly interwoven' ALI SMITH.

The Freedom Artist

The Freedom Artist

Author: Ben Okri Format: Downloadable audio file Release Date: 10/01/2019

One of 2019's most anticipated novels in THE TIMES, IRISH TIMES and GUARDIAN. 'Where fiction's master of enchantments stares down a real horror, and without blinking or flinching, produces a work of beauty, grace and uncommon power' MARLON JAMES, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015. An impassioned plea for freedom and justice, set in a world uncomfortably like our own, by the Man Booker-winner Ben Okri. In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization. To find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question. Karnak's search leads him into a terrifying world of lies, oppression and fear at the heart of which lies the Prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth. The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri's most significant novel since the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms. 'Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three - literature, culture and vision - are profoundly interwoven' ALI SMITH.

The Outsider (L'Etranger)

The Outsider (L'Etranger)

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2018

Camus' sparse parable about the human condition is one of the great stories of the 20th Century, presented at the Coronet in its first major UK production. A faceless man who can no longer pretend, Mersault commits a senseless murder under the glare of the Algerian sun and is forced to confront the hypocrisy and injustice of society. In an age where we are being increasingly told what to feel, The Outsider is a blast of uncompromising honesty. Albert Camus, French novelist, essayist, philosopher and Nobel laureate, was one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th Century. Ben Okri, author of The Famished Road, is one of contemporary literature's most important writers. This production brings them together for a rare dramatisation of one of modern literature's most celebrated works.

Rise Like Lions Poetry for the Many

Rise Like Lions Poetry for the Many

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2018

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?

ebook of the month
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 / softback 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 / softback 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.

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https://benokri.co.uk/

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