I Will Never See the World Again

Ahmet Altan

Published: 7 March 2019
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781783785155


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.

About the author

Image of Ahmet Altan

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


‘[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 spiritSimon Callow



A deeply moving memoir, which resounds loudly with the sheer pleasure of writing. We owe Ahmet Altan a tremendous debt for the strength he has shown in sharing his story with us. Read this book, share it, and welcome Ahmet into your home’ Jon McGregor

An invigorating testament to the consolations of the mind... charged with a striking compassion and magnanimity that belies the circumstances of its composition... Ahmet's prose glistensBrendan Daly

Remarkable... This book glitters with courage, intelligence, and an almost superhuman fighting spirit... What a writer, and what a manJane Graham

Remember the name Ahmet Altan! Add him to the great voices writing from prison across the centuries - Boethius, Cervantes, Gramsci, Soyinka, Solzhenitsyn - and be moved to tears and indignation by his storyAriel Dorfman, author

‘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 spiritPhilippe Sands, author of

‘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 writesAL Kennedy, author

‘Altan's account of living with courage and dignity in unjust circumstances is a testament to human endurance, joining the ranks of the greatest prison memoirs... eloquent and profoundly affectingAlastair Mabbot

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