Born in an ancient city in what is now Kyrgyzstan, Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek novelist and poet who was forced to leave his home in Tashkent when his writing brought him to the attention of government officials. Under threat of arrest, he moved to London and joined the BBC World Service, where he is now Head of the Central Asian Service. In addition to journalism, Ismailov is a prolific writer of poetry and prose, and his books have been published in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish, English and other languages. His work is still banned in Uzbekistan. He is the author of many novels, including Sobranie Utonchyonnyh , Le Vagabond Flamboyant , Two Lost to Life , The Railway , Hostage to Celestial Turks , Googling for Soul , The Underground , A Poet and Bin-Laden , and The Dead Lake ; poetry collections including Sad (Garden) and Pustynya (Desert) ; and books of visual poetry including Post Faustum and K niga Otsutstvi . He has translated Russian and Western classics into Uzbek, and Uzbek and Persian classics into Russian and several Western languages.
CW: I guess I really like the last forty pages, from the final section of Indiana all the way to the end. Those three sections, Indiana, Mabel’s chapter, and the final trip on the railroad, are very meaningful to me. I’m always happy to finish, to wind up a book after working for so long. It’s satisfying when the dominoes start falling and you’re saying goodbye to different characters, and all the things you set up for hundreds and hundreds of pages are finally coming to fruition. I think the way that last forty pages are organized came off pretty well, so I can still go back and feel pretty proud about the ending sections.
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