Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, Nigeria. He published his first novel, Flowers and Shadows in 1980 and his second, The Landscapes Within, in 1982, while studying comparative literature at Essex University. He has worked as a broadcaster for the BBC World Service and was poetry editor of West Africa magazine for seven years. His novel The Famished Road won the Booker Prize in 1991. He has also published essays, short stories, and a collection of poetry. His most recent novel is Starbook, which was followed by a collection of stories Tales of Freedom.