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Ben Okri Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Famished Road Trilogy Books

The Famished Road (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Songs of Enchantment (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Infinite Riches (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Landscapes Within (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Incidents at the Shrine (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flowers and Shadows (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Astonishing the Gods (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Birds of Heaven (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous Love (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Way of Being Free (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alfredo Jaar (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mental Fight (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Arcadia (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Starbook (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tales of Freedom (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Age of Magic (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Freedom Artist (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Gift of the Master Artists (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Children's Books

Every Leaf a Hallelujah (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

Changing Destiny (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Stars of the New Curfew (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
An African Elegy (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wild (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Magic Lamp (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rise Like Lions (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Comic Destiny (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Prayer for the Living (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Fire in My Head (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tiger Work (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

A Time for New Dreams (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mystery Feast (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Colors of a New Day(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Diaspora City: The London New Writing Anthology(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cooked Up(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lunatics, Lovers and Poets(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Freeman's Power(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reverse Engineering II(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ben Okri
Ben Okri is a novelist, screenplay writer, essasyist, anthologist, short story writer, and poet, and was born in Nigeria on March 15, 1959. Ben is a member of the Urhobo people, since his dad (named Silver) was Urhobo, and his mom (named Grace) was half-Igbo.

He spent his childhood growing up in London, attending primary school in Peckham, before he returned to Nigeria in the year 1968 with his family.

Ben’s exposure to the Nigerian civil war and the culture that his peers of the time claimed to have seen visions of spirits gave him some inspiration while writing fiction.

He went back to London in the year 1978, and studied comparative Literature at Essex University. Okri wound up homeless after financial problems in Nigeria caused his grant to get withdrawn; he slept on park benches and friends’ floors, and eating from restaurant trash cans.

Ben grew up with stories and finds that they are embedded deeply in him. His mom would tell him stories all the time and was rather good at it. His culture, in Nigeria, is a storytelling place and everybody would tell each other stories as a kid. Stories are now how Ben breathe, and think.

He finds the stories he writes, however, are oblique and indirect stories, those that have more angles than you would otherwise suspect. He has an interest in stories secret stories, the ones people carry inside of them and they don’t even know it.

At the age of fourteen, after he got rejected for admission for a short university program in physics due to a lack of qualifications and youth, Ben experienced a revelation that poetry was his chosen calling.

After getting rejected, he started exploring his dad’s library. First, he went through the philosophers, classics, then Dickens, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and Robert Burns. To Ben, it was like finding a homeland, as he was just lost in the enchantment of words.

Before he knew it, he was writing. Only, he thought of it as something else, because only the great dead wrote, not the living. He made a choice to figure out what he was going to do with his life. He took two pieces of paper. On one, he drew what was on a mantel, and on the other, he wrote a poem. Despite all the work he put into the drawing, it didn’t look too good, but the poem wasn’t that bad.

For Ben, it wasn’t so much how well the poem came out that decided things, rather how he felt while writing it. It was like, he disappeared. He still has that self-forgetfulness while writing poetry to this very day. Something higher takes over and he goes into a state of self-forgetfulness that Ben calls his best self.

Then, he started writing articles about political and social issues, but these were never able to find a publisher. Then he wrote some short stories that were based on these articles, and some got published in some evening papers and women’s journals.

Ben’s success as a writer started when he published his first novel at the age of 21. From 1983 until 1986, he served the West Africa magazine as the poetry editor, and from 1983 until 1985, he regularly contributed to the BBC World Service, still publishing throughout this entire time.

For three years, starting in 1988, he lived in a Notting Hill flat. He took the first draft of “The Famished Road” with him and started rewriting it. During this time, there was something about his writing that changed. He gained a sense of tranquility. Ben was striving for something in his tone of voice as a writer, and it was there that things finally came together for him. He also wrote the short stories that make up his collection “Stars of the New Curfew”.

While he writes, he doesn’t care what people think, either when he begins or when he finishes. He mainly cares about the truth of what he is attempting to say and how deeply he will be able to touch a single person through the work, just one person at a time.

“The Famished Road” won The Man Booker Prize for Best Novel. He has also been awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa, the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattor, and the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction.

His debut novel, called “Flowers and Shadows”, was released in the year 1980. After the novel was published, he rose to international acclaim, and is often described as being one of the leading writers in all of Africa.

“In Arcadia” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2002. A group of ill-assorted and angry people accept the invitation to go on a journey. Inspired by a painting and are financed by their mysterious benefactor, they head out to find the real Arcadia. Or what is left of it.

Their journey starts in chaos and ignorance at Waterloo station and it takes them through myth and superstition into harmony. In the Louvre, right in front of Poussin’s masterpiece and they begin understanding.

Ben Okri’s word choice is simply gorgeous, and this work is deeply fascinating and magical. Fans loved the way the novel muses on life, and a bunch of discussions, with Okri making some great points throughout. The novel is both philosophy and story, poetry and prose, and there is an expert premise.

“The Freedom Artist” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. A man goes to search for a woman that went missing, since he loves her. He hunts for her desperately at first, and then with a horrible realization. The reader goes on a journey with him while he hunts, through a disintegrating and frightening world of violence, lies, and fear. At the core of this disturbing world is the Prison.

To survive, as well as to answer to answer the girl’s question, the young guy, just like the rest of us, has to accept the challenge and fight right back.

These familiar words Okri uses are twisted and used to form unnervingly beautiful shapes. The musicality, simplicity, and the artlessness of his style are why fans read his work, as it is a swim in a clear, fresh, and blue pool. The language is primordial, something sensed in our mother’s wombs and never since.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ben Okri

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