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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

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Other books by Ben Okri

A Fire in My Head

A Fire in My Head

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2021

A powerful collection of new and recently completed poems by Ben Okri covering topics of the day, such as the refugee crisis, racism, Obama, the Grenfell Tower fire, and the Corona outbreak. In our times of crisis The mind has its powers This book brings together many of Ben Okri's most acclaimed and politically charged poems. Some of them, like 'Grenfell Tower, June 2017', are already familiar. Published in the Financial Times less than ten days after the fire, it was played more than 6 million times on Channel 4's Facebook page, and was retweeted by thousands on Twitter. 'Notre-Dame is Telling Us Something' was first read on BBC Radio 4, in the aftermath of the cathedral's near destruction. It spoke eloquently of the despair that was felt around the world. In 'shaved head poem', Ben Okri wrote of the confusion and anxiety felt as the world grappled with a health crisis unprecedented in our times. 'Breathing the Light' was his response to the events of summer 2020, when a black man died beneath the knee of a white policeman, a tragedy sparking a movement for change. These poems, and others including poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barack Obama, Amnesty and more, make this a uniquely powerful collection that blends anger and tenderness with Ben Okri's inimitable vision.

Mental Fight

Mental Fight

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2021

An epic poem touching on issues of racism, intolerance and environmental destructions from Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri. There is much to celebrate in the human journey so far - art in all its forms, advances made in the fields of technology and medicine and, for many of us, the miracle of freedom. But there is also much to regret - racism, intolerance, the destruction of our environment, the reality and the legacy of slavery. In this long, sustained consideration of the state we find ourselves in, Ben Okri invokes the past to explain the present, and sings out a message of hope. The future is still ours to make. This epic poem, an anthem for the twenty-first century, first appeared in The Times in January 1999. Its message could hardly be more relevant to our present condition. Discover this revised edition of an inspiring and extraordinarily tender work.

Wild

Wild

Author: Ben Okri Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2021

Poems of living and loving from Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri. Freedom is the most precious commodity in the world. In this powerful collection, the celebrated novelist, essayist, dramatist and poet, Ben Okri, explores the beauty contained in each one of us - the freedom of our spirit, the child within. He recalls the death of his father, the sacrifices of his mother, the hidden river of Edinburgh, falling in love. He writes about Virgil and Mozambique, about ringing the bell for freedom, the dreams of Calliope and the full moon. He enters the fifth circle, sings of the roses of spring, and aligns the pyramids to the magic stars. This is a rich, joyful, exciting collection for everyone who loves Ben Okri's vibrant style, and a perfect introduction to new readers of his poetry.

Prayer for the Living

Prayer for the Living

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2020

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...

Infinite Riches

Infinite Riches

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/12/2019

In the chaotic world of his African village, the spirit-child Azaro still watches the tumultous 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.

Prayer For The Living

Prayer For The Living

Author: Ben Okri Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 07/11/2019

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...

Indrajalathinte Kaalam

Indrajalathinte Kaalam

Author: Ben Okri Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2019

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.

Rise Like Lions

Rise Like Lions

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.

Author Info

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https://benokri.co.uk/

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