Our annual Freedom-to-Write keynote will feature two distinguished authors: Turkish novelist, journalist and human rights advocate Aslı Erdoğan (now exiled writer-in-residence in Frankfurt’s City of Refuge) in conversation with novelist Akhil Sharma. Join us for what is sure to be an inspiring evening!
Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan worked for two years at CERN as a particle physicist before becoming a writer. Her third novel, The City in Crimson Cloak brought her international recognition. Her literary work has now been translated into twenty languages, and in 2017 the French government awarded her the Légion d’Honneur. Her second work to be translated into English, The Stone Building and Other Places (City Lights Publishers), has received international acclaim.
Erdoğan also has an extensive journalistic record, publishing over 200 articles, often tackling human rights in Turkey. After being threatened by lynching campaigns, she was forced into exile and became writer-in-residence in Krakow’s City of Refuge in 2015. She subsequently returned to Turkey, and in 2016 she was again arrested on the pretext that she had been a literary adviser to a pro-Kurdish newspaper. She was tried for terrorism and imprisoned for 136 days. International pressure secured her release. She is now again in exile and writer-in-residence in Frankfurt City of Refuge.
Akhil Sharma was born in Delhi, India, and moved with his family to the United States when he was eight. His first novel, An Obedient Father, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His second novel, Family Life, was selected as one of the 5 best books of fiction by The New York Times and also awarded the world’s largest prize for a single novel, the €100,000 International Dublin Literary Award. Akhil serves on the City of Asylum board.