Anthology – Stories from Exiled Writers

This anthology might challenge the meaning of everything!

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Progress: Selecting Stories

Quick Summary

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our latest project, with the working title ‘Anthology – Stories from Exiled Writers.’ This initiative aims to explore the profound impact of personal experiences and cultural influences on our perceptions of words, institutions, and concepts.

Our partnerships with international organisations like ICORN and Norsk PEN allows us to introduce you to writers who, despite having impressive international reputations, are still relatively unknown to Scandinavian readers. Through their mastery of storytelling, combined with their personal experience of exile, they invite us to view the experience of settling in a new country through their eyes, or their characters, while telling us something about the subtle variations in how we all view the world around us.

Many of these writers are still undertaking the important and dangerous task of standing up for human rights in the face of authoritarian aggression, which led to their having to escape their countries of origin in the first place. We thank them for taking the time to participate in this book.

How Others See The World

Have you ever pondered how the colour blue might appear when seen through another person’s eyes? You’re aware that they perceive something they label as blue, but is it akin to what you perceive as blue? This is a question we are able to ask because empathy, the ability to see the world from another’s perspective, is part of our higher brain function.

Similarly, we can ask: does a term like “friend” carry the same significance for someone else as it does for me? What emotions do others associate with saying they “belong” somewhere or when they say that they feel “peace”?

Experience + Culture

Sometimes these meanings and feelings are subject to highly personal experiences, and in other instances they are influenced by the culture in which we grew up. Most often it is a combination of the two. To me a cow might be a pet, but the culture in which I grew up might regard it as lunch. Someone else might perceive the same cow as a nuisance that eats the flowers in her garden, but the culture in which she grew up might see it as a god. Therefore, the sentence “the cow is coming” might prompt different emotions and reactions based on a mix of experience and culture.

The Experience of Exile

In this anthology we are seeing the world through the eyes and the characters of talented writers in exile, who combine their personal experience of escaping danger to reach Scandinavia, along with the cultural influences in which they grew up, to give us a series of unique reflections. They examine everything from the comical misunderstanding that we can experience while socialising, to the profound loneliness of being unable to communicate effectively with those around us.

One Writer’s Perspective

Fatemeh Ekhtesari, a pivotal author and consultant for this anthology, offers a profound narrative shaped by her remarkable life journey. Having grown up in Iran, she emerged as a successful and influential poet while ardently advocating for women’s equality. Enduring imprisonment and torture, she eventually sought refuge in Norway. While she managed to eventually reach safety, not everyone was so lucky. She has witnessed the tragic fate of friends back in Iran, facing imprisonment and even death. Ekhtesari’s extraordinary experiences lend her a distinctive perspective on values, illuminating the significance of concepts we often take for granted, such as “trust,” “friendship,” and “courage”. Through her story, readers are invited to perceive Lillehammer afresh, viewing the Norwegian landscape through the eyes of an outgoing and exuberant new citizen of Norway with a unique and compelling perspective.

Related News and Updates

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Anthology – Stories from Exiled Writers

Sic Publishing invites original, unpublished works for a new anthology on the theme of exile, to be …


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