Russia

Reviews and Press for 'The Underground' by Hamid Ismailov

Updated September 25, 2015


PRAISE AND HIGHLIGHTS

Ismailov, Barnes, and Ermakova speak to a packed house

A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH IN LONDON

Hamid Ismailov had a standing-room only crowd at Waterstones Piccadilly, “Europe’s Largest Bookshop,” for the launch of his novel The Underground. Ismailov was joined in conversation by the book's translator, Carol Ermakova, and Hugh Barnes, a journalist and specialist on Russian matters. Read all about it on the Turnaround Blog.

 

THE GUARDIAN: "A LUMINOUS ELEGY FOR LATE-SOVIET MOSCOW"

“Exiled Uzbek writer Hamid Ismailov weaves this story of mundane misery and visceral decay into a luminous elegy for late-Soviet Moscow.… Ably translated by Carol Ermakova.…  Ismailov’s novel inevitably invites comparison with Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground.… The Underground recreates a lost Moscow. The narrator’s memories map out a haunting, bittersweet cityscape, with landmarks that no longer exist and names that have long since changed.” The Guardian

 

HAMID ISMAILOV INTERVIEWED BY ELECTRIC LITERATURE

Electric Literature published a frank and illuminating conversation between Hamid Ismailov and Melody Nixon, about “censorship and creativity, political economy, and life for writers outside of the global centers of literary production.” Here he is on diversity in literature:

"What I lacked as a reader and writer in the Soviet era, from childhood onwards, was a depiction of the reality that was around me. I was in a melting pot of all kinds of nations, cultures, beliefs, faiths and civilizations, and I didn’t see the richness of these experiences depicted in Soviet literature.... In coming to the west I all of sudden realized it was an even bigger problem for western literature than for Soviet. In Ian McEwan’s famous books you hardly meet any Black people, or Caribbean people, or Chinese. Take wonderful Kazuo Ishiguro, who is himself Japanese by origin. Almost all his books are about English people, and that’s it. So in the mainstream English literature you can’t see any multi-national, or other realities apart from rare exceptions."

Read the full interview on Electric Literature


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