Storytellers ought not be too tame. They ought to be wild creatures who function adequately in society. They are best in disguise. If they lose all their wildness, they cannot give us the truest joys.

Ben Okri

Ben Okri

Profession: Poet
Nationality: Nigerian

Some suggestions for you :

One of the greatest gifts my father gave me - unintentionally - was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity.

I was born left-handed, but I was made to use my other hand. When I was writing 'Famished Road,' which was very long, I got repetitive stress syndrome. My right wrist collapsed, so I started using my left hand. The prose I wrote with my left hand came out denser, so later on I had to change it.

If I don't say the thought right I might destroy it.

At the heart of 'The Famished Road' is a philosophical conundrum - for me, an essential one: what is reality? Everybody's reality is subjective; it's conditioned by upbringing, ideas, temperament, religion, what's happened to you.

Politics is the art of the possible; creativity is the art of the impossible.

It is not death that human beings are most afraid of, it is love.

A man must be able to hold his drink because drunkenness is sometimes necessary in this difficult life.

Without stories we would go mad. Life would lose its moorings or lose its orientations. even in silence we are living our stories.

The dead shook off their rust of living and seized up steel. Their lips quivered with the defiance of innocents, with manipulations of politicians and their interchangeable dreams, and with the insanity of thugs who don't even know for which parties they commit their atrocities.

We must take an interest in politics. We must become spies on behalf of justice.

Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.

What if by sheer repetition we become the person we most often pretend to be? Does that mean there is no authentic self? Are we made of habits, compressed by time, like layered rocks?

Some of my reactions are very Nigerian. I still believe that words are things.

Reading is an act of civilization; it's one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities.