Contemporary literature within Azerbaijan is growing and there is a wide range of authors who have published since the start of the 20th century. Each story tells a different tale and ranges in emotional baring and inspiration. Short stories are often popular within Azerbaijan, detailed tales are told within a short number of pages to give a full experience in a few manageable pages. For example: Anwar Mammadkhanly writes a deep and emotional short tale called ‘The Ice statue’. With its vast description of freezing weather conditions Mammadkhanly provides a heart wrenching tale of a mothers attempts at protecting her child from the weather. The narrative gives the reader a deep connection with the mother gaining an emotional response to the ending within just 3 pages, thus indicating the power of short stories. This particular story forms part of a collection of Short Stories from Azerbaijan, published in 2018 by The Hertfordshire Press in the UK.
Ali & Nino
One of the most beloved tales within Azerbaijan is that of ‘Ali and Nino’, this book was first published in 1937 and has been held within the hearts of many Azerbaijanis ever since. Written by an author known as ‘Kurban Said’, a pen name, it is not known who exactly wrote this book and it has been discussed for many decades. However, despite the lack of knowledge of the author the story remains. The tale tells of 2 young lovers one born in Azerbaijan and the other in Georgia, as it is set in 1918 it explores the dilemmas faced within pre-soviet Azerbaijan as well as celebrating the contrasts between the Islamic and Christian religion. In many senses it is a tale of love and loss on a similar scale to Romeo and Juliet and tells of heartbreak that can still take place in a political age. It has inspired many productions and movies as well as selling copies all over the world, thus cementing its place as a vastly important tale for many Azerbaijanis today.
National Museum of Azerbaijani Literature
Azerbaijan is home to establishments which celebrate the world of literature. The National Museum of Azerbaijan Literature in Baku was named after the previously mentioned Nizami Ganjavi, due to his great contribution to literature, it was established over 70 years ago and has since displayed various literary pieces important to Azerbaijani culture. The museum is host to various works including contemporary literature as well as detailed descriptions of historical works which allows tourists to explore the full extent of Azerbaijani work. Its main aim is to share the heart of Azerbaijan through its literature works.
You can learn more about the National Museum of Literature and its opening times by visiting:
Miniature Book Museum
Quirkily, a Baku celebration of literature can be found in the form of a miniature book museum. It contains a vast variety of books in miniature form, it was founded by Zarifa Salahova who collected the books herself over a period of 30 years. It contains over 6500 books including the smallest book in the world measuring 2mm x 2mm which can only be read by a magnifying glass. It contains books from different countries which hold different meanings for example there is a miniature version of the Quran as well as a miniature version of a book by Nizami Ganjavi the famous Azerbaijani poet.
New publications are still being added today. As an avid collector Zarifa is also happy to grow her collection through donation. Many books are sent to her every year from across the world as her visitors fondly remember their experiences in her museum.
For more information about Book Museum, visit: