Ten and a Half Inclinations

Books are like Mirrors,

Don’t just read the words,

Go into the mirror.

That’s where the real secrets are, inside, behind.

That’s where the Gods dream,

Where our realities are born.

Ben Okri gives advice on what to read (and how to read it) at PEN’s Festival of International Literature. The Royal Society of Literature asked 10 writers, including Okri, for a list of 10 seminal books that everyone under the age of 20 should read. Okri’s response, 10½ Inclinations, is “not really a poem, it’s a minor provocation.” We wait with baited breath to see if his ‘Meditations on Greatness’ at Africa Writes will give us a similarly cryptic response to the sister headliner; African Books to Inspire.