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Articles tagged "Hamid Ismailov"

Sculpting in Uzbek

Translators sometimes try to refrain from passing judgment, but I feel compelled to say that Uzbek is a strange and mysterious language. It is built on a solid Turkic framework fleshed out with some Persian and Arabic vocabulary, then gilded over with Soviet-flavored Russian. It’s the language of a country that only became a country by accident, and only recently, with the breakup of the Soviet Union. The language went through three alphabets in the space of the twentieth century....

Russia is Restless: A Brooklyn Book Festival Event

On September 19, almost sixty people gathered at Karloff Restaurant in Brooklyn for dinner and conversation with exiled Uzbek writer and BBC reporter Hamid Ismailov and Russian-American novelist Boris Fishman. The Brooklyn Book Festival event was hosted by Restless Books, a Brooklyn-based, digital-first publisher devoted to a wide range of international literature. Only a year old, Restless Books is off to an impressive start, with twenty-two titles by writers from countries such as Cuba,...

The Memory of Our Land: Writing in and from Exile

In late May I attended a writers’ conference in Sozopol, Bulgaria, sponsored by the admirable Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. Sozopol lies on the Black Sea, less than two hundred miles south of Constanța, Romania—better known as the ancient city of Tomis, where Ovid spent the last part of his life in exile. (As we sat on the lush hotel patio, looking out at ruins and the water beyond, I did have the uncharitable thought that—aesthetically, at least—Ovid...

Interview with Hamid Ismailov

Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek journalist, novelist, poet and translator who was born in the Soviet Union in 1954 in what is now Kyrgyzstan. His poem "Lovers in Samarkand," co-translated by Richard McKane, appeared in our September issue, Writing from the Silk Road. In 1992 he was forced to flee his home in the Uzbek capital Tashkent when his writing drew negative attention from government officials. Under threat of arrest he moved to London and now heads the Central Asian division of the BBC...

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