A Prayer for the Living

A Prayer for the Living

  • Signed by the Author
  • Hardcover
  • UK First Edition, First Printing
Released October 3, 2019
ISBN 978-1789544596

£14.99

Currently out of Stock

Topical and timely, Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri's new collection of short stories blur parallel realities and walk the line between darkness and magic.


Is what you see all there is? Look again.


Playful, frightening, even shocking the stories in this collection blur the lines between illusion and reality. This is a writer at the height of his power, making the reader think, making them laugh, and sometimes making them want to look away while holding their gaze.


Stories here are set in London, in Byzantium, in the ghetto, in the Andes, in a printer's shop in Spain. The characters include a murderer, a writer, a detective, a man in a cave, a man in a mirror, two little boys, a prison door, and the author himself.


There are twenty-three stories in all. Each one will make you wonder if what you see in the world is all there is...

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Ben Okri

Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, northern Nigeria, to an Igbo mother and Urhobo father. He grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968. Much of his early fiction explores the political violence that he witnessed at first hand during the civil war in Nigeria. He left the country when a grant from the Nigerian government enabled him to read Comparative Literature at Essex University in England.

He was poetry editor for West Africa magazine between 1983 and 1986 and broadcast regularly for the BBC World Service between 1983 and 1985. He was appointed Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College Cambridge in 1991, a post he held until 1993. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1987, and was awarded honorary doctorates from the universities of Westminster (1997) and Essex (2002).

His first two novels, Flowers and Shadows (1980) and The Landscapes Within (1981), are both set in Nigeria and feature as central characters two young men struggling to make sense of the disintegration and chaos happening in both their family and country. The two collections of stories that followed, Incidents at the Shrine (1986) and Stars of the New Curfew (1988), are set in Lagos and London.

In 1991 Okri was awarded the Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel The Famished Road (1991). Set in a Nigerian village, this is the first in a trilogy of novels which tell the story of Azaro, a spirit child. Azaro's narrative is continued in Songs of Enchantment (1993) and Infinite Riches (1998). Other recent fiction includes Astonishing the Gods (1995) and Dangerous Love (1996), which was awarded the Premio Palmi (Italy) in 2000. There followed In Arcadia (2002) and Starbook (2007).

A collection of poems, An African Elegy, was published in 1992, and an epic poem, Mental Flight, in 1999. A collection of essays, A Way of Being Free, was published in 1997. Ben Okri is also the author of a play, In Exilus.

In his latest book, Tales of Freedom (2009), Okri brings together poetry and story.

Ben Okri is a Vice-President of the English Centre of International PEN, a member of the board of the Royal National Theatre, and was awarded an OBE in 2001. He lives in London.

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Professionally Packed

All of our books that a have dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.