Author: Ahmet Altan
Translator: Yasemin Çongar
Longlisted for the 2019 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
The destiny I put down in my novel has become mine. I am now under arrest like the hero I created years ago. I await the decision that will determine my future, just as he awaited his.
I am unaware of my destiny, which has perhaps already been decided, just as he was unaware of his. I suffer the pathetic torment of profound helplessness, just as he did. Like a cursed oracle, I foresaw my future years ago not knowing that it was my own.
Confined in a cell four metres long, imprisoned on absurd, Kafkaesque charges, novelist Ahmet Altan is one of many writers persecuted by Recep Tayyip Erdogan's oppressive regime. In this extraordinary memoir, written from his prison cell, Altan reflects upon his sentence, on a life whittled down to a courtyard covered by bars, and on the hope and solace a writer's mind can provide, even in the darkest places.