Look, Listen & Learn

The Age of Magic: Ben Okri (2015)

Not long ago Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri caused a stir, writing in the Guardian that black and African writers should “not be expected to write about slavery, poverty or racial injustice. The greatest literature comes not from the heaviest subjects but from freedom of thought.” Okri has written many poetry, essay and short story collections, as well as ten novels including his Booker-winning The Famished Road. His recent novel The Age of Magic is imbued with what Okri dubs “dream logic”, as well as with sensibility and imagination as he charts the journey of a group of documentary film makers on their way to film a piece on happiness in Arcadia, Greece. He speaks with Paula Morris.