Skip to content
Join us on October 26 at 7PM EDT for the 2021 WWB Virtual Gala. Learn more and get your tickets today!


Burhan Sönmez & Ümit Hussein

Born in Central Anatolia in 1965, Burhan Sönmez grew up speaking Kurdish and Turkish, and later moved to Istanbul where he studied law. The recipient of a number of literary prizes, he was seriously injured following an assault by Turkish police. With the assistance of the Freedom from Torture foundation, he spent five years in the U.K. undergoing rehabilitation. Sönmez received the 2017 Vaclav Havel Library Foundation’s “Disturbing the Peace” Award for his courageous dissent in Turkey, and he is on the board of PEN International. He now divides his time between Istanbul and Cambridge, UK. His novels have been published in thirty-two languages and his most recent novel, Istanbul Istanbul, was published in English by OR Books. His website is

Ümit Hussein is a translator and interpreter of Turkish Cypriot origin who was born and raised in London. She has translated authors such as Nevin Halɪcɪ, Mehmet Yashin, and Ahmet Altan into English.

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.