Writing in Times of Turmoil
Can a writer continue to seek refuge in imagination when all hell breaks loose? Andrej Kurkov wrote novels such as The President's Last Love before revolution broke out in his hometown of Kiev. He decided to write the non-fiction book Ukraine Diaries, about the Ukrainian uprising. When the Arab Spring broke out, novelist Alaa al Aswani camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square for days on end. He described the revolution in About Egypt:
The provocative considerations of a novelist, in which every piece ends with the phrase "Democracy is the solution".
Alaa al Aswany replaces Mircea Cărtărescu, who was unable to appear due to personal reasons.