In the decade since it won the Booker Prize, Ben Okri's Famished Road has become a classic. Like Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" or Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, it combines brilliant narrative technique with a fresh vision to create an essential work of world literature.
The narrator, Azaro, is an "abiku," a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. The life he foresees for himself and the tale he tells is full of sadness and tragedy, but inexplicably he is born with a smile on his face. Nearly called back to the land of the dead, he is resurrected. But in their efforts to save their child, Azaro's loving parents are made destitute. The tension between the land of the living, with its violence and political struggles, and the temptations of the carefree kingdom of the spirits propels this latter-day Lazarus's story.
About the Author
Ben Okri is the author of 10 novels, including The Famished Road, which won the Booker prize, and The Age of Magic, as well as volumes of poetry, short stories and essays. His work has been translated into more than 26 languages and has won numerous international prizes. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Vice-President of the English Centre of International PEN, and Patron of the International School of Storytelling. Born in Nigeria, he lives in London.
"A dazzling achievement for any writer in any language."
--The New York Times Book Review
"A masterpiece if one ever existed."
--The Boston Globe
"Dazzling, hypnotic...a true feast for the word hungry."
--San Francisco Chronicle