Tales of Freedom

Front Cover
Rider, 2009 - Short stories - 197 pages
3 Reviews
As one of Britain's foremost poets, Ben Okri is rightly acclaimed for his use of language. And as a Booker Prize winning novelist, this skill was shown to particular effect in both Starbook (his most recent work) and in The Famished Road. In Tales of Freedom he brings both poetry and story together in a fascinating new form, using writing and image pared down to their essentials, where haiku and story meet. Thus we discover Pinprop, the slave to an old couple lost in a clearing, who holds the keys to the universe in his quirky hands. Then there is the beautifully dressed black Russian on the train, helping to film a new version of 'Eugene Onegin'. Later, in the chaos of the aftermath of war, orphaned children paint mysterious shapes of bulls, birds, hybrid creatures, and we wonder if grief has unhinged them into genius...And who is that woman, who hardly speaks, who presses a tiny flower into the palm of the young boy on the bus, and then leaves his life forever? Tales of Freedom offers a haunting necklace of images which flash and sparkle as the light shines on them. Quick and stimulating to read, but slowly burning in the memory, they offer a different, more transcendent way of looking at our extreme, gritty world - and show the wealth of freedom that's available beyond the confines of our usual perceptions.

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Review: Tales Of Freedom

User Review  - Doug - Goodreads

these were...confusing. like other reviewers have said, i got the impression there were messages behind these short stories, but i couldn't tell you what they were, and i don't really think mr okri's ... Read full review

Review: Tales Of Freedom

User Review  - Black&white - Goodreads

Pretty reminiscent of the work of Samuel Beckett which is a wonderful thing in my opinion. The humour is even more obvious here and the whole even more playful. The whole is very open to ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Ben Okri, 1959 - Nigerian novelist, Ben Okri was born in Minna to Grace and Silver Okri. After his birth, they moved to England so his father could study law. At the age of seven, his family returned to Nigeria and his father practiced in Lagos where the people couldn't afford normal legal fees. His childhood was influenced by the Nigerian civil war. He was constantly being withdrawn from schools so most of his education was at home in Lagos. After failing to be placed in a university, Okri began writing articles on social and political issues. Most of them were not published, but he began writing short stories based on these articles and they began finding their way into women's journals and evening papers. In 1978, he moved back to England where he studied comparative literature at Essex University but was forced to leave without a degree because of a lack of funds. He was a poetry editor of West Africa and worked also for the BBC. At nineteen, he finished his first novel "Flowers and Shadows" and it was published in 1980. The story attacked corruption in newly independent Nigeria and tells of a successful businessman whose jealous relatives make his life difficult. Okri's second novel, "The Landscapes Within" (1981), traces the adventures of a young, poor painter in Lagos. This novel was followed by two collections of short stories, "Incidents at the Shrine" (1986), and "Starts of the New Curfew" (1988). Several of the stories tell of the Biafran War from a child's eyes. The novel "The Famished Road" (1991) tells the story of a character who must choose between the pain of mortality and the land of the spirits. Okri's next novel, "Songs of Enchantment" (1993), continued with the mythical and poetical view of the world. "An African Elegy" (1992), is a collection of poems with classical themes. Okri has won several awards, which include the Booker Prize (1991), the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Africa (1987), the Paris Review Aga Khan prize for fiction, the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattore International Literary Prize, and the Premio Grinzane Cavour.

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