Ben Okri was born Nigeria and lives in London. The highly acclaimed writer and cultural activist is considered one of the most important postcolonial novelists of our time. In his work he examines the philosophical question of the nature of reality and plays with post-modern ideas of storytelling and metaphor. His writing is influenced by postmodernism, Yoruba folklore, spiritual- and magical realism and existentialism. He has published three books of short stories, two collections of essays, three volumes of poems and ten novels, including The Age of Magic, In Arcadia and Astonishing the Gods. His most famous work is The Famished Road for which he was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 1991. The novel forms a trilogy together with Songs of Enchantment (Johnathan Cape, 1994) and Infinite Riches (Phoenix House, 1998). In addition to his fiction and poetry, he has written a film script and an adaptation Camus’ The Outsider for the British stage. He was awarded numerous international Prizes, among others the Commonwealth Writer‘s Prize for Africa, the Aga Khan Prize and the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattore prize. His work has been translated into 27 languages. As a recipient of many honorary doctorates, Ben Okri is a vice-president of the English Centre of International PEN and was presented the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum for his outstanding contribution to the arts and to cross-cultural understanding. He has been a Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is an honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, and was awarded an Order of the British Empire. His latest novel, The freedom artist, was released in February.
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