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IS BOOK BURNING A THING OF THE PAST?

Akram Aylisli (b.1937) is an Azeri writer, playwright, novelist, and former magazine editor-in-chief, press director, and member of the Azeri National Assembly. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages. Following the 2012 publication of the second novella of this trilogy, Stone Dreams…the Azeri president stripped Aylisli of the title of “People’s Writer.” Aylisli’s books were burned, his son and wife were fired from their jobs, and he received death threats. Stone Dreams depicts the real-life pogroms carried out by Azeris against Armenians as the Soviet Union broke apart, as well as the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century. [Stone Dreams] is apparently the first work by a writer in any Turkic language to recognize the suffering of Armenians. In 2014, supporters in Russia, the U.K, the U.S., and elsewhere nominated Aylisli for the Nobel Peace Prize. Aylisli, whose case has been championed by PEN and other international human rights organizations, currently lives under house arrest in Azerbaijan.

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