Category: Blog

100 Must Read Nigerian Novels

Ben Okri sits among the greats, not only of Nigerian or African literature, but of the world’s literature. Here is a list including his 1991 novel The Famished Road. Seeing the names of such esteemed Nigerian Novelists alongside Okri’s in…

JJ Bola: Who are “they” that Okri is referring to?

Poet and spoken word performer JJ Bola responds to Ben Okri’s article in The Guardian on the mental tyranny keeping black writers from greatness. Whilst acknowledging the value of Okri’s argument, Bola takes to task what he sees as a…

Ben Okri reads from and discusses The Famished Road

The Famished Road is undoubtedly Ben Okri’s most famous work. In this BBC World Service broadcast Okri reads from his Booker-winning novel and discusses the passages with the World Book Club presenter, Harriet Gilbert. The unmistakeable baritone lilt in Okri’s…

Diallo on Tour

Ben Okri not only penned a poem for the exhibition of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo at the National portrait gallery but toured a writing workshop around the country, inspiring reactions and guiding the public to form these into their own poetic…

Okri Speaks at 5×15

A most extraordinary literary phenomena, in fact one of the most extraordinary in history, began. It swept England, it made its way across to America it started a phenomenal craze, it is one of the most translated, illustrated, published, republished,…

Ben Okri at the PEN Cabaret, 2010

When Ben Okri arrived at the Fourth Annual PEN Cabaret, his first trip to the US in 15 years and after writing poetry for nine months solid he had little choice other than to read poetry. He gives a selection…

Covering The Famished Road

A timeline of various covers for Ben Okri’s The Famished Road shows how publishers play with the novels we love… and our perceptions of the ones we don’t yet know. How does Okri himself visualise this title? Find out at…

Ben Okri on Nelson Mandela

He demonstrated, almost more than anybody else in our times, how you transfigure the great burden of suffering and expectation into forgiveness, grace and dignity. He held the hand of South Africa through its most difficult time and calmed the…