The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri, Paperback

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.


This book was chosen in guidance from Shelves Bookstore. Shelves Bookstore is a Black-owned general interest bookstore located in Charlotte, NC committed to educating families and bookworms of all ages through a curated collection of diverse stories. Founded by Abbigail Glen to share her love of books, Shelves believes reading is a lifestyle and encourages getting comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to grow.