Each year we gather at Alphabet City to honor an international writer or artist who has overcome efforts to limit their creative freedom. This year we honor Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, the recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.
An advocate for freedom of expression, Mr. Pamuk has experienced first-hand the dangers to writers. In 2021, he was investigated by the Turkish state for “insulting” the founder of modern Turkey and ridiculing the Turkish flag in his new novel, Nights of Plague. Mr. Pamuk faced similar claims before. In 2005, he was indicted for “insulting Turkishness” after stating that “thirty-thousand Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in these lands.”
During the keynote, Mr. Pamuk will read from Nights of Plague, talk with Anderson Tepper about his work and his fight for freedom of expression in Turkey, and answer audience questions.
Join us for an inspiring afternoon that speaks to the core of our mission to protect and celebrate freedom of creative expression.
Click here to buy your copy of Nights of Plague from the City of Asylum Bookstore.
About the novel: From the the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature: Part detective story, part historical epic—a bold and brilliant novel that imagines a plague ravaging a fictional island in the Ottoman Empire.
It is April 1900, in the Levant, on the imaginary island of Mingheria—the twenty-ninth state of the Ottoman Empire—located in the eastern Mediterranean between Crete and Cyprus. Half the population is Muslim, the other half are Orthodox Greeks, and tension is high between the two. When a plague arrives—brought either by Muslim pilgrims returning from the Mecca or by merchant vessels coming from Alexandria—the island revolts.
Steeped in history and rife with suspense, Nights of Plague is an epic story set more than one hundred years ago, with themes that feel remarkably contemporary.
The winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk “is one of the great novelists of his generation” (The Washington Post). His work examines identity, tensions between the East and West, and the clash between modernism and tradition. His novels have been translated into more than 60 languages and include The New Life, Snow, A Strangeness in My Mind, and My Name is Red, winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Anderson Tepper is co-chair of the International Committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival and host of a global author series with the Brooklyn Public Library. He has served on the advisory council of the PEN World Voices Festival and was guest curator of the Emergency World Voices Congress of Writers at the United Nations in May. Formerly of Vanity Fair, he writes on books and authors for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and World Literature Today. Anderson Tepper serves on the City of Asylum Advisory Board.
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