“What can an eighty-something writer from an obscure country in the Caucasus tell us about the world we live in? Quite a lot, actually…”

As a forward-thinking, independent, academic press, we’re fortunate to publish some incredible scholarship, engaging educational materials, and crucial literary translations on a regular basis. Still, from time to time, a book comes along that combines all three and deserves frequent and relentless mention. That’s why, during Banned Books Week, we’ve been promoting Katherine E. Young’s meticulously translated Farewell, Aylis: A Non-Traditional Novel in Three Works by Azerbaijani writer, playwright, novelist, and editor Akram Aylisli, a courageous dissident writer currently under de facto house arrest in Baku, Azerbaijan for reasons directly attributed to the publication of one of the novellas in this book.

So, if we haven’t got your attention yet, please do not miss this opportunity! In this particular case, time is of the essence.

Farewell, Aylis begins with a preface from Series Editor Rebecca Ruth Gould (University of Birmingham) that comments on why this was the perfect inaugural book for our Central Asian Literatures in Translation series. A foreword by journalist Joshua Kucera details the events that led to Aylisli’s current de facto house arrest in Baku. The core of the book comprises three beautifully written and devotedly translated novellas by Aylisli: Yemen, Stone Dreams , and A Fantastical Traffic Jam. A specially commissioned essay written by Aylisi for this volume provides stunning insight into his current situation and response to the Azerbaijani government. The book ends with a brilliant afterword by Andrew Wachtel (Narxoz University) that brings Aylisli’s writing into a broader global context and helps us understand what “an eighty-something writer from an obscure country in the Caucasus” can tell us about the world we live in.

Please, learn about Akram Aylisli’s current situation:

Please, read the book! Either pick up a copy at your library or purchase it from wherever you buy books (we’re offering a 40% discount at https://www.academicstudiespress.com/calit/farewell-aylis with promotional code AYLISLI).

Please, take advantage of this rare upcoming virtual event hosted by Columbia’s Harriman Institute that includes a discussion with the author Akram Aylisli, translator Katherine E. Young, and journalist Alex Raufoglu, moderated by Professor Mark Lipovetsky: https://harriman.columbia.edu/event/virtual-event-burning-books-akram-aylisli-literature-and-human-rights-todays-azerbaijan.

Lastly, and most importantly, please do what you can to help spread the word about this book and the author’s current situation.