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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.
Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
We haven’t had a new Ben Okri for some five years so this is something of a celebration. Sadly it is not quite magical enough, not in the same league as his magnificent The Famished Road. Charmingly written with an authentically dreamlike quality in short sections, it sweeps you along with a group of people making a TV documentary about a journey to Arcadia, Greece, while actually going from Paris to Switzerland. Or are they? Nothing is certain in this book. There is a short, sharp section on meeting the devil which is outstanding and some beautiful descriptions of landscapes. A fine book but perhaps a little light for such a great author. ~ Sarah Broadhurst P.S. - The Age of Magic was awarded the Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2014 but we still love it! Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
A beautiful collection of stories from the Booker Prize winner. He mixes poetry and story together to create some magical tales. The perfect book to read on a journey as the stories are quick to read and highly enjoyable. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
The narrator, Azaro, is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. He is born into a world of poverty, ignorance and injustice, but Azaro awakens with a smile on his face. Nearly called back to the land of the dead, he is resurrected. But in their efforts to save their child, Azaro's loving parents are made destitute. The tension between the land of the living, with its violence and political struggles, and the temptations of the carefree kingdom of the spirits propels this latter-day Lazarus's story. 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.
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.
We haven’t had a new Ben Okri for some five years so this is something of a celebration. Sadly it is not quite magical enough, not in the same league as his magnificent The Famished Road. Charmingly written with an authentically dreamlike quality in short sections, it sweeps you along with a group of people making a TV documentary about a journey to Arcadia, Greece, while actually going from Paris to Switzerland. Or are they? Nothing is certain in this book. There is a short, sharp section on meeting the devil which is outstanding and some beautiful descriptions of landscapes. A fine book but perhaps a little light for such a great author. P.S. - The Age of Magic was awarded the Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2014 but we still love it!
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.
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.
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
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 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.