Simon Okotie is a fiction writer and essayist. He is the author of Whatever Happened to Harold Absalon?, In the Absence of Absalon, and After Absalon, an acclaimed trilogy of novels, all published by Salt. In the Absence of Absalon was longlisted for the 2018 Republic of Consciousness Prize. Simon’s work has appeared in gorse, 3:AM Magazine, Firmament and The White Review. ‘Two Degrees of Freedom,’ a short story, is published by Nightjar Press. ‘Bindings’ was selected for the Best British Short Stories 2021 anthology.
Of the protagonist of Whatever Happened to Harold Absalon? Blake Morrison notes in the London Review of Books that ‘There’s a touch of Charlie Chaplin about him, or of John Cleese, as mediated by Beckett’. Okotie readily acknowledges the influence of Beckett on his work, and in particular the later short prose and ‘closed space’ pieces. The TLS has drawn attention to Simon’s ‘obsessive attention to the miraculous geometries of human movement’ and this is just one way in which his writing shows an affinity with Beckett’s. Simon is currently completing a novel and a collection of essays.
Simon has also been reflecting on his experience with the Beckett materials in the archive. Click here to read Simon's In Search of The Lost Ones.