We're thrilled to announce that our author Hamid Ismailov, a novelist, reporter, poet, translator, and BBC writer in residence whose works include The Railway, A Poet and Bin-Laden, and The Underground, will be making a rare U.S. appearance for the Restless Books Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends Event this fall. Of his choice to write fiction deemed "subversive," (eventually forcing him to flee Uzbekistan under threat of arrest), Ismailov has said "My first novel was in Uzbek. I showed the novel to an older writer who had lived through Stalin’s purges. He told me, 'This will never be published. You’ll be arrested. You need to drop this and write in Russian.' I realized that, because of my experience, I was holding an entire civilization in my hands. I knew the Soviet experience, and its aftermath, from so many perspectives. The whole civilization was exploding inside me and it started to come out in the form of novels."
Ismailov will be in conversation with the Brooklyn-based Russian writer and critic Boris Fishman, author of the acclaimed novel A Replacement Life, for what promises to be a lively evening of cocktails, gourmet Russian cuisine, and discussion of the state of contemporary Russian literature and society at Karloff. We hope you'll join us for this very special gathering and encourage you to reserve tickets early, as space is limited. You can learn more about Mr. Ismailov's journey as a writer and Uzbek dissident from this lovely Life in Pictures slideshow, courtesy of the BBC.