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Nov 2022 BookGroup Selection is “I Will Never See the World Again” by Ahmet Altan
December 8 @ 2:16 am
Online discussion, everyone welcome.
The destiny I put down in my novel has become mine. I am now under arrest like the hero I created years ago. I await the decision that will determine my future, just as he awaited his. I am unaware of my destiny, which has perhaps already been decided, just as he was unaware of his. I suffer the pathetic torment of profound helplessness, just as he did.
Like a cursed oracle, I foresaw my future years ago not knowing that it was my own.
Confined in a cell four meters long, imprisoned on absurd, Kafkaesque charges, novelist Ahmet Altan is one of many writers persecuted by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s oppressive regime. In this extraordinary memoir, written from his prison cell, Altan reflects upon his sentence, on a life whittled down to a courtyard covered by bars, and on the hope and solace a writer’s mind can provide, even in the darkest places.
Turkey in the last several years has become one of the greatest oppressors of writers, academics and intellectuals, with the largest prison population of political detainees in continental Europe. Erdoğan, consolidating his power, has fired over 5,000 academics and 50,000 schoolteachers, whose progressive politics or Kurdish heritage he disliked, or who as journalists/editors/publishers have been too outspoken, such as widely translated novelist and newspaper editor Ahmet Altan, 72. The author of such internationally admired works as the novels in his Ottoman Quartet, Altan was sentenced to life in prison in 2016. He spent four years behind bars but was unexpectedly released last year. He said recently, “Prison didn’t extinguish my desire to write.”
Find it on Goodreads.
Sunday, Nov. 27th.
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