Ben Okri (2067 words)

Robert Fraser (The Open University)
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The novels, poems and essays of the Nigerian-born author Ben Okri offer a challenge to received notions of literary convention and form. His reputation was consolidated in 1991 when The Famished Road – the first novel in a sequence of that title – won the Booker McConnell Prize for Fiction, but is yet to be matched by an equivalent critical understanding, or a considered body of commentary that might sustain it. Okri has been dubbed a “Magic Realist”, a term that does not really fit him. Meanwhile, the Ghanaian critic Ato Quayson has expounded his work via a revolutionary concept of “interdiscursivity”, the fusion of literary and oral influences within a nation-based text. More conventionally, the British critic …

Citation: Fraser, Robert. "Ben Okri". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001 [, accessed 31 July 2021.]

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