Writings of the general word's body

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ben Okri on his 'difficult apprenticeship'

In CNN's African Voices, the Booker Prize winning author of 'The Famished Road', Ben Okri, reminisces about his time sleeping rough on the streets of London, unable to finish university, hungry and seeking the warmth of back doors to crouch in. It was difficult getting food and shelter, but "you could always get books" so he did a lot of intense reading because, "By then, I'd already become infected by the creative dream." He got to see London from "a most heartbreaking perspective". Looking back, the celebrated author reflects that his mother would have been horrified to know her son went through low times. However, "If she were here, I'd like to say to her: it was a good thing. It was a good thing."

"It is not important for me as a writer that you leave a piece of writing of mine with either an agreement or even a resonance with what I have said... The best writing is not about the writer, the best writing is absolutely not about the writer, it's about us, it's about the reader."

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