Hamid Ismailov: Hayy-ibn-Yakzan (Of Strangers and-Bees)

The latest addition to my website is Hamid Ismailov‘s Hayy-ibn-Yakzan (Of Strangers and-Bees). This is another superb book from Hamid Ismailov, the Uzbek novelist, about exile and, indeed about bees. We follow the travels and travails of the fictitious Sheikhov (possibly an alter ego of the author) but also of the Uzbekistan-born, Persian philosopher Avicenna who may have died in 1037 in real life but continues on in this book. Sheikhov is both studying Avicenna but is also keen on finding the travelling Avicenna who may be held in prison in France or the US. It is both a very serious book about exile, faith and politics but also, at times, very funny, as we follow Sheikhov’s travels in Europe. In particular, it is a superb read.

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