The Last Gifts of Master Artists

The Last Gifts of Master Artists

  • Signed by the Author
  • Hardcover
  • UK First Edition, First Printing
Category:
Released August 4, 2022
ISBN 978-1803285672

£16.99

'This is a story of a people on the eve of catastrophe. Others can tell of the catastrophe itself. I want to see the people in the last days of their innocence.' Ben Okri


By a riverbank in Africa, two lovers meet for the first time. They make a promise to meet again the next day, same time, same place, but only one of them shows up. This sounds like the beginning of a love story, but it's more than that, for this breath-taking tale takes the reader into the heart of a vibrant world, a complex and intriguing civilisation of warriors and kings, philosophers and artists, parents and lovers. A world and culture which is about to end, for glimpsed on the horizon, seen but unsuspected, beautiful ships with white sails are waiting...


First published as Starbook in 2007, Ben Okri has spent many years rewriting this epic novel, set just before the arrival of the Atlantic slave trade. He has sought to bring to it a greater simplicity, to make the political and historical implications of the story clearer. Now titled The Last Gift of the Master Artists, this is a work still more dazzling and unforgettable, and more relevant to our world than ever before.


Praise for Ben Okri:
'Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three – literature, culture and vision – are profoundly interwoven' Ali Smith

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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.