Giving the World a New Kind of Literature: Interview with Ben Okri

Monday 12 October 2020

It is an important stage for our literature. In a sense the real literature of a people begins with the passing of writers into the realm of ancestors. Literature begins with the dead. For that is when we can start to see the meanings of their works which may have been concealed from us when they were alive. Their body of work derives new authority from death. Then a literature begins to cohere. The books read us. They move from their fixed sphere of time and come alive in a new way in ours. They are no longer what we thought they were. Then the works really begin to speak. It is only now, with many of the pioneers moving on to a higher sphere, that the literature moves to a higher sphere too. They take us up with them. First books begin as publicity and marketing. Often, before their time, they are taught. Then the books are about the authors. If we see ourselves and our times in them we do so dimly. With the passing of the years some of the books become living classics. But really they are provisionally so.

Read the Full Interview on

❰❰   Back to news

Latest Book

A Fire in My Head - Ben Okri Latest Book

A Fire in My Head

Poetry (2021) - Apollo

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…