Ben Okri

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Ben Okri

Ben Okri, OBE (born March 15, 1959 in what was then the Northern Region in what is now the Nigerian state of Niger in the city of Minna , Nigeria ), is a Nigerian writer .


When he was two years old he came to London with his parents, where his father studied law and where he finally began his schooling. In 1966 he returned to Nigeria, grew up in Ibadan , Ikenne and Lagos , eventually graduated from Urhobo College in Warri, and during this time also began to turn to writing. After graduating from school, he waited for his admission to study at a Nigerian university and worked in various professions: he worked in a company in the chemical industry, as a journalist for a magazine in Lagos and taught mathematics. When Ben Okri had still not got a place in Nigeria in 1978, he went back to London, where he still lives and works - interrupted only by short trips to his home country - and enrolled in comparative literature at Essex University . During his student days he published a novel and two plays, which he also put on stage. Because his scholarship was canceled, he had to leave the university for lack of money and was temporarily homeless . With a small loan from friends, he made a fresh start by selling literary reviews and publishing short stories . He also worked as a broadcaster for the BBC and as the poetry editor of West Africa Magazine.

After he had published a large number of his own works as a prolific writer and won the Booker Prize with The Famished Road in 1993, he said in an interview with the Guardian that he had three passions as an author: "novel, poetry and drama". In autumn 2018 he directed his own stage version of The Stranger by Albert Camus at London's Coronet Theater in Notting Hill . The substance of this book has given rise to many new points of view and a number of "Hamlet questions" in the present.

Okri is currently (2019) Vice-President of the English Center of International PEN.



  • Flowers and Shadows . Longman, London 1980
  • The Landscapes Within . Longman, London 1981
  • Before the Euphoria Ends . in West Africa, September 2, 1985, pp. 1793-4
  • Incidents at the Shrine . Vintage, London 1986, German masquerades and other stories
  • Stars of the New Curfew . Penguin, London 1988
  • The Famished Road . Vintage, London 1991, German The Hungry Street
  • To African Elegy . Cape, London 1992, German African elegy
  • Songs of Enchantment . Cape, London 1994, sequel to 'Famished Road'
  • Astonishing the Gods . Phoenix House, London 1995, German The Invisible One
  • Birds of Heaven . Orion 1995, birds of the sky - ways to freedom
  • Dangerous love . Phoenix House, London 1996, Eng. Trapping Love
  • A Way of Being Free . Phoenix House, London 1997
  • Infinite Riches . Phoenix House, London 1998, sequel to 'Songs of Enchantment'
  • Mental Fight . Phoenix House, London 1999
  • In Arcadia . Weidenfeld, London 2002
  • Starbook . Rider, London 2007
  • Tales of Freedom . Rider, London 2009
  • A time for new dream . Rider, London 2011
  • Wild . Rider, London 2012, ISBN 978-1786694508 .
    • Wild poems , translated by Brigitte Oleschinski, Verlag Das Wunderhorn , Heidelberg / Neckar 2014.
  • Stars Of The New Curfew , 2015
  • In Arcadia , Head of Zeus, London 2015. ISBN 978-1784082574 .
  • A Way of Being Free , Head of Zeus, 2015. ISBN 978-1784082567 .
  • The Magic Lamp: Dreams of Our Age , fairy tales for adults, Apollo, London 2017. ISBN 978-1786694508 .
  • Rise Like Lions: Poetry for the Many , Gedichte Anthologie, Hodder Paperbacks 2018. ISBN 978-1473676169 .
  • The Freedom Artist , Roman, Head of Zeus, London 2019. ISBN 978-1788549592 .


  • N - The Madness of Reason (documentary, 2014)


Ben Okri is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and received the Order of Officer of the British Empire in 2001 . In addition to the Booker Prize in 1993, he won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattore literary prize.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Interview Ben Okri: 'I was nearly shot because I couldn't speak my dad's language' , The Guardian, September 6, 2018, accessed January 15, 2019.
  2. a b Ben Okri: A writer honored , BBC June 15, 2001, accessed January 15, 2019
  3. a b An Evening with Ben Okri , Perth Festival, accessed January 15, 2019.
  4. ^ N - The Madness of Reason, Blinkerfilm, January 9, 2015.

Web links