Azeri writer’s novel published in Armenian

Alisa Gevorgyan

Azerbaijani writer Akram Aylisli’s novel “Stone Dreams” has been published in Armenian. The novel has been translated by Leonid Zilfugharyan and published by “Nork” publishing house.

Aylisli’s novel tells about the Agulis, the writer’s birthplace. Leonid Zilfugharyan says Aylisl’s novel is very honest.

Aylisli’s novel was like a bomb blast in an atmosphere filled with anti-Armenian propaganda. For the first time an Azerbaijani writer dared speak about Armenians not as ‘bitter enemies,’ about Armenians he lived side-by-side in Agulis and Baku, about Armenians, whose trace has been  erased from those places.

According to writer and publisher Ruben Hovsepyan, Aylisli’s novel was a light in the darkness, which comes to say that not everything is lost in that society. “The novel is not anti-Azerbaijani, as his compatriots insist. On the contrary, the writer raises the image of Azerbaijanis in his book, for which his country should have been grateful to him,” Ruben Hovsepyan said.

Akram Aylisli faced persecutions in Azerbaijan after the novel was published in the Russian “Druzhba Narodov” magazine. His books were burnt, the author received a number of threats. According to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s decree, the writer was stripped of his presidential pension and the honorary title of People’s Writer of Azerbaijan.

After the book was published in Armenian, people in Azerbaijan started saying Armenians violate the copyrights of the Azerbaijani author.

In the novel Aylisli writes about a little girl named Lusik, who was always visiting her grandmother in Agulis. The little girl was ethnographer Lusik Aguletsi, who told about her meeting with Akram Aylisli in one of the recent interviews. What unites the two is their great love for Agulis, which has been renamed Aylis after the massacres.

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