With the simplicity and innocence of Narayan or Seth, he tells the story of a young man, Omovo, an office-worker and artist who lives at home with his father and his father's second wife. In the communal world of the compound in which he lives, Omovo has many friends and some enemies, but most important of all there is Ifeyiwa, a beautiful young married woman whom he loves with an almost hopeless passion - not because she doesn't return his love, but because they can never be together. Ben Okri builds a vivid picture of Nigerian life: of the compound with its complete lack of privacy, the gossip, the good times, the street life, the complex nature of family relationships and the kindness and treachery of friends. Overshadowing everything, is the image of a nation struggling to come to terms with the atrocity of the recent civil war, the echoes of which presage the story's tragic
Ben Okri was born in Nigeria and now lives in London. He has published fiction (short stories and novels), poetry and essays. He has won numerous prizes for his work.