Ben Okri is a writer who cannot be categorised. His books are richly varied. He has written significantly in every genre and form of literature.
No two of his books are the same, though they explore themes of reality, unreality, society, storytelling, freedom, magic, consciousness, history, politics, justice, and the intensely poetic. He is known for his magical and innovative writing and the ambiguous clarity of his style. He is often referred to as a postmodern writer.
The Age of Magic
Novel (2014) - Head of Zeus
Eight film-makers arrive at a small Swiss hotel on the shores of a luminous lake. Above them, strewn with lights that twinkle in the darkness, looms the towering Rigi mountain. Over the course of three days and two nights, the travellers will find themselves drawn in to the mystery of the mountain reflected in the…
Poetry (2012) - Rider & Co
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…
A Time for New Dreams
Essay (2011) - Rider & Co
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…
Tales of Freedom
Short Story (2009) - Rider & Co
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….
Novel (2007) - Rider Books
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…
Novel (2002) - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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…
Poetry (1999) - Weidenfeld & Nicolson / Phoenix House
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…
Novel (1998) - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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…
Birds of Heaven
Short Story (1996) - Phoenix House
This volume contains two short prose pieces focusing on two of Okri’s central themes – the power of words and the role of the writer and storyteller in a changing world. This book makes the message more direct, to go beyond words to a higher spirituality, to contemplation and revelation.
Novel (1996) - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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
Novel (1995) - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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…
Songs of Enchantment
Novel (1993) - Jonathan Cape
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.
An African Elegy
Short Story (1992) - Jonathan Cape
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…
The Famished Road
Novel (1991) - Jonathan Cape
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…
Stars of the New Curfew
Short Story (1988) - Secker & Warburg
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….
Incidents At The Shrine
Short Story (1986) - Heinemann
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.
Flowers and Shadows
Novel (1980) - Longman
Set in the hustle of Lagos, a series of disturbing events strip the young Jeffia Okwe of his innocence and reveal the ruthlessness of his own father. The tragic climax of the tale leaves Jeffia cleansed of “the sins of his father”, ready for adult life and optimistic about the future. The author has also…