The Famished Road

The Famished Road

by Ben Okri
Winner of the Man Booker Prize: “Okri shares with García Márquez a vision of the world as one of infinite possibility. . . . A masterpiece” (The Boston Sunday Globe).

Azaro is a spirit child, an abiku, existing, according to the African tradition, between life and death. Born into the human world, he must experience its joys and tragedies. His spirit companions come to him often, hounding him to leave his mortal world and join them in their idyllic one. Azaro foresees a trying life ahead, but he is born smiling. This is his story.

When President Bill Clinton first went to Africa he quoted from The Famished Road, which has inspired literature, art, politics, and pop songs—and even been referenced in an episode of The Simpsons. A transformative story for all ages and all times, it means many things to many people. Few contemporary novels have aroused as much passion as this one. Indeed, twenty-five years after its breakout publication, the iconic story of Azaro’s travels continues to mesmerize new generations.

For readers of Things Fall Apart or One Hundred Years of Solitude, this Man Booker Prize–winning blend of fabulism and gritty realism by the Nigerian author of Astonishing the Gods and Dangerous Love is a “dazzling, hypnotic” journey through Africa that “weaves the humblest detail with the most extravagant flight of fancy to create an astonishing fictional tapestry” (San Francisco Chronicle). Already considered a classic of world literature, it is “a masterpiece if ever one existed” (The Boston Sunday Globe).

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