An NPR Best Book of 2020: “Okri’s tale is especially resonant in our current post-truth environment.” —Booklist (starred review)
In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner?
When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization that to find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question.
Karnak’s search leads him into a terrifying world of deception, oppression, and fear at the heart of which lies the prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth.
The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri’s most significant novel since the Booker Prize–winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms.
“With the stark power of myth, this political allegory evolves into an argument for artistic freedom.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[With] 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.” —Sierra Magazine
“The concise, declarative prose and the parable-like architecture of the stories resemble ancient forms of wisdom literature.” —The Wall Street Journal
“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 Magazin
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