The Famished Road by Ben Okri (1991)
Since its publication and winning the Booker Prize in 1991, Ben Okri’s The Famished Road has become a classic. Known for Okri’s brilliant narrative technique and fresh vision, this is an essential work of world literature. The narrator, Azaro, is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition exists between life and death. He is born into a world of poverty, ignorance and injustice, but Azaro awakens with a smile on his face. Despite belonging to a spirit world made of enchantment, where there is no suffering, Azaro chooses to stay in the land of the living: to feel it, endure it, know it and love it. The tension between the land of the living, with its violence and political struggles, and the temptations of the carefree kingdom of the spirits propels this latter-day Lazarus’s story.