AN UNPUTDOWNABLE NARRATIVE. At times heartbreaking, uplifting, and funny, Ahmet Altan brings readers deep into the government and political world that resulted in his imprisonment and with a novelist’s eye, paints the world in which he now lives that readers will not soon forget. Altan’s prose is reminiscent of The Count of Monte Cristo told set against a Kafkaesque absurdity.
AN INSIDE LOOK AT A TYRANICAL GOVERNMENT. I Will Never See the World Again throws light on the current state of affairs under Turkish president Erdogan and how the leading political party’s anti-freedom of speech mentality could easily happen in other countries.
SUPPORT IN THE ARTS. Ahmet Altan’s imprisonment has been objected to by an incredible amount of world-leading writers and artists. 38 Nobel laureates—including Svetlana Alexievich, JM Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro, VS Naipaul, Mario Vargas Llosa—penned an open letter to the president of Turkey demanding Altan’s release. He has also received support from authors including Neil Gaiman and Joanne Harris.
“Urgent…brilliant…a timeless testament to the art and power of writing amid Orwellian repression.” —Washington Post
“Remarkable…Altan’s talent as a writer allowed him to communicate his experience in rich, haunting detail…Despite the oppressive, cruel darkness at the core of Altan’s memoir, his words shine like bioluminescent creatures patrolling the abyss…brilliant.” —NPR
“The title of Mr. Altan’s book is the statement of a brutal fact, rather than a cry of despair. There is not a smidgen of self-pity in the memoir’s 212 pages. What emerges is this: You cannot jail my mind, and you cannot shut me up.” —New York Times
“[I Will Never See the World Again] speaks for itself with such clarity, certainty and wisdom that only one thing needs to be said: read it. And then read it again…a radiant celebration of the inner resources of human beings…Its account of the creative process is sublime, among the most perfectly expressed analyses of that perpetually elusive phenomenon. And it is a triumph of the spirit.” —The Guardian
“An inspiring testament to the human spirit. Through solitary days and aching bones, Altan shows us that dreams can escape the confines of a concrete cell and spread without limits.” —Newsweek
“[I Will Never See the World Again] reads like the travelogue of a restless mind, trapped with its owner inside a cramped prison but determined to stay free.” —The Economist
“Luminous…Intertwining gritty detail with lyrical effusion, Altan’s narrative is a searing indictment of Turkey’s authoritarian regime and an inspiring testament to human resilience.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] phenomenally inspiring memoir. Despite stifling, Kafka-esque circumstances, Altan channels freedom through his imagination.” —Booklist (starred review)
“An inspiring account of the writing life and a chilling glimpse of authoritarianism’s slippery slope.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Both delicate and robust; there is a lyricism to this prose that the reader intuitively feels must somehow transcend language itself…a series of generous, enlightened, and deeply life-affirming meditations on what it means to be human in an inhuman world, Altan’s memoir liberates the soul even as it throws its author’s captivity into excruciatingly sharp relief.” —Irish Times
“Eloquent and profoundly affecting…Altan’s account of living with courage and dignity in grossly unjust circumstances is a testament to human endurance, joining the ranks of the greatest prison memoirs.” —The Herald (Scotland)
“I hope that everyone who can read, whatever their politics, reads Ahmet Altan’s response to his imprisonment. Repressive regimes hope that if they lock up writers they are also locking up ideas. This will always fail.” —Neil Gaiman
“From the bowels of Erdoğan’s prison system emerge these meditations on the vicissitudes of justice, products of a richly stocked mind, engrossing, sometimes profound, and remarkable for their equanimity.” —J. M. Coetzee
“Remember the name Ahmet Altan! Add him to the great voices writing from prison across the centuries—Boethius, Cervantes, Gramsci, Soyinka, Solzhenitsyn—and be moved to tears and indignation by his story.” —Ariel Dorfman
“Ahmet Altan’s memoir is a message in a bottle, a pearl in a bottle, smuggled out to us from Erdoğan’s sea of darkness. A startling, heartbreaking testament, I Will Never See the World Again stands with those very rare books—by Frankl, Niemöller, Grossman, Levi, Solzhenitsyn—which bring truths from a furnace where lives are burned. Read this—it will explain why you ever read anything, why anyone ever writes.” —A. L. Kennedy
“A deeply moving memoir, which resounds loudly with the sheer pleasure of writing. We owe Ahmet Altan a tremendous debt for the strength he has shown in sharing his story with us.” —Jon McGregor
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