I Will Never See the World Again | Granta

  • Published: 07/03/2019
  • ISBN: 9781783785155
  • 129x20mm
  • 224 pages

I Will Never See the World Again

Ahmet Altan

Translated by 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.

[This book] 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... Sublime... A triumph of the spirit

Simon Callow, Guardian

A remarkable memoir by a remarkable writer ... it is something special to visit Ahmet Altan in his prison, and to leave with an unexpected feeling of elation, motivated by the sheer, towering greatness of the human spirit

Philippe Sands, author of, East West Street

Ahmet Atlan's memoir is a message in a bottle, a pearl in a bottle, smuggled out to us from Erdogan's sea of darkness. I Will Never See The World Again is a startling, heartbreaking testament to the author's honesty and resilience, a love letter to his calling, an eye-witness statement from the hell of denunciations and mass arrests that Turkey has become. It stands with those very rare books - by Frankl, Niemoller, 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

AL Kennedy, author, Serious Sweet

The Author

Born in 1950, Ahmet Altan, one of today’s most important Turkish writers, was arrested in September 2016 for his work as a journalist. An advocate for Kurdish and Armenian minorities and a central figure in the Turkish cultural world, he is the author of five successful novels. He has been awarded the Grand Prix from the Akademi Publishing House, the prestigious Freedom and Future of the Media Prize from the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig and the International Hrant Dink Award. In February 2018 he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Turkish state.

More about the author →

Ahmet Altan on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | Granta Books


Ahmet Altan

‘I get into the police car with four officers from the Anti-Terrorism Branch. They are taking me to the prison.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 145

I Will Never See the World Again

Ahmet Altan

‘I was in a cage because a man had eaten an apple.’ Translated from the Turkish by Yasemin Çongar.