Category: Blog

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…

Diallo Discussed: Ben Okri and Dr. Lucy Peltz

It’s a moment in time that constantly travels and in doing so changes its own time that is contained within it; and ours. It makes us aware that history is not entirely objective in itself. Because we have this tradition…

The Famished Road

In the beginning there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.   So starts the novel that propelled…

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…

Ben Okri: Why do we tell children stories?

08To poison a nation, poison its stories. A demoralised nation tells demoralised stories to itself. To poison a nation, poison its stories. Ben Okri continues his campaign for us to recognise the true importance of stories and storytelling. “Why do we…

The Simpsons Namedrop Ben Okri

An author knows they’ve hit the big time when they are namedropped in The Simpsons. Ben Okri has truly made the crossover between African literature and popular culture and comfortably inhabits both spaces as The Famished Road is gifted to…

Storytelling and Science

Ben Okri contends that the oldest technology in the world is… Storytelling. “We are storytelling beings” and even our most rational and calculated thought is far better represented as a narrative: Einstein made relativity accessible by the story of two…