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H. Ismailov's thoughts on writing


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Hamid Ismailov is the author of The Devil's Dance. He published the novel, described as "a story within a story within a story", on Facebook in 2018. It won the EBRD literature prize in 2019. Below is an excerpt from an interview. I thought the whole article was very interesting. You can find it here: https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/novelist-hamid-ismailov-storytelling-social-media-censorship

 

What about your identity as a writer? You're often described in relation to your Uzbek heritage, and your work being banned in your own country. 

The best thing for an author is when you disappear from your work.

I had a neighbour, who had a wonderful garden, with beautiful flowers. But the sticks next to the flowers were ugly.

Storytelling is the same. You should hide the sticks that support the flowers.

One of the gratifying things for me, after I published The Devil's Dance, was that no one talked about me in the reviews. I was sort of made redundant.

I was perplexed at first, but then I realised that I had hidden myself so well I had disappeared from the story.

 

 

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