Author: Okri, Ben
Publisher: Akashic Books
New from the publisher
An impassioned plea for freedom and justice, set in a world uncomfortably like our own, by the Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri.
An NPR Best Book of 2020!
With the stark power of myth, this political allegory evolves into an argument for artistic freedom.
--New York Times Book Review, a New & Noteworthy selection
A perfect read for a post-truth era.
Longlisted for the 2021 Nommo Award for Best Novel, presented by the African Speculative Fiction Society!
The Freedom Artist...can be read as a kind of revision of Plato's allegory of the cave, in which art, rather than offering distracting illusions, can tap into foundational truths and help us free ourselves from the prison of existence. The concise, declarative prose and the parable-like architecture of the stories resemble ancient forms of wisdom literature.
--Wall Street Journal
With a slow burn arc emblematic of Toni Cade Bambara's The Salt Eaters, and prophetic warnings of apocalypse akin to Octavia Butler's The Parable of the Sower, The Freedom Artist offers a contemplative look at post-truth society.
In Okri's dystopian version of our reality, the world is a totalitarian state, ruled by an anonymous but powerful authority known as the Hierarchy. When a woman goes missing after painting a simple question--'Who is the prisoner?'--on a public wall, her lover sets out to find (and hopefully save) her. His journey takes him through a dismal landscape, inhabited by people terrified of--but also resisting--their subjugation.
--BuzzFeed, one of BuzzFeed's Most Anticipated Books of 2020
Booker Prize winner Okri's lyrical allegory combines fable, folklore, and mythology with moments of surreal horror to produce a rallying cry against the oppressive institutions that would seek to make knowledge illegal.
--Locus Magazine, New &