So long as we are alive, so long as we feel, so long as we love, everything in us is an energy we can use.
He is born into a world of poverty and injustice, but Azaro awakens with a smile on his face. Despite belonging to a spirit world made of enchantment, where there is no suffering, Azaro chooses to stay in the land of the Living: to feel its passions, endure its passions, know its ugliness and love its beauty. This is his inspiring story.
This edition marks the 25th anniversary of the first publication of Ben Okri’s extraordinary, ground-breaking and iconic novel.
Author: Ben Okri
Paperback: 586 pages
Publisher: Vintage Classics, part of the Penguin Random House
“Magnificent… Okri spins a tale that is epic and intimate at the same time.” – Michael Palin
“A dazzling achievement for any writer in any language.” – New York Times Book Review
From New Foreword by Author
“The novel was written to give myself reasons to live. Often the wonder of living fades from us, obscured by a thousand things. I wanted to look at life afresh and anew and I sought a story that would give me the right vantage point. Additionally, there was the secret dream of renewal of a people through the renewal of its way. It is also meant to be a humorous book – from the perspective of the spirits the deed and furies of men are tinged with absurdity.
The stories my mother told me, elliptical and strange, and the philosophies of my father, steeped in the ancient African world that was older and stranger than the Greek myths, hovered above me in the little room where I wrote. There was a lake I walked round every day, a ritual that magnetised my spirit.
The novel was drawn from a half-glimpsed world, and it was fading fast from reality. In that sense, the novel is a sort of elegy.” – Ben Okri, 2015
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