Ben Okri OBE is a poet, playwright and novelist. His novel The Famished Road won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1991.

His other novels include Starbook, The Age of Magic, Dangerous Love and Astonishing the Gods, which was selected in 2019 as one of the BBC’s ‘100 novels that shaped our world.’ He has published eleven novels, four books of short stories, two collections of essays, and three volumes of poems. His latest book of poems, A Fire in My Head, was published in January 2021. His illustrated book for adults and children, Every Leaf a Hallelujah, is published in autumn 2021.

He wrote the script for Peter Krüger’s film N: The Madness of Reason, which won the 2015 Ensor Award for Best Film, and a much-acclaimed adaptation of Camus’s The Outsider for the Coronet Theatre in London in 2018, which won The Offies Award for Best Theatre Production.

His works have been translated into 27 languages, and have won numerous international prizes including the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Africa, the Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the Chianti Ruffino-Antico Fattore International Literary Prize, and the Premio Grinzane Cavour Prize. 

The recipient of many honorary doctorates, he has been a Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and is a vice-president of the English Centre of International PEN, an honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

He was born in Nigeria, and lives in London.

Ben Okri
Born