OMER ZULFU LIVANELI (1946)
Omer Zulfu Livaneli Born in Ilgin, Turkey in 1946, O.Z. Livaneli is one of the most outstanding figures in the cultural, artistic and political life of Turkey. He achieved prominence and success not only as a writer and a musician but also as a film director. His books, compositions and films brought him national and international acclaim, and more than 30 international awards.
Livaneli's latest novel "Leyla's House" was published in Turkey in May 2006 and as of today it is in its 42nd edition.
His third novel "Bliss", published in 2002 in Turkey, made 39 editions, and became almost a cult work and has been recently adapted to cinema. In 2005, "Bliss" was published in Greece and Sweden, and in 2006, it was published in France by Gallimard and in the United States by St. Martin's Press. In the United States, "Bliss" is selected a Barnes&Noble finalist for the 2006 "Discover Great New Writers Awards".
Livaneli's second novel "Memory of Snow" was published in 2001 in Turkey; it received the Yunus Nadi Novel Award in Turkey, and it was published in Greece, Serbia, Iran and Switzerland. The publishing rights of the book are held by Gallimard in France.
Livaneli's first novel "The Eunuch of Constantinople" reinforced his fame as an internationally acknowledged author. It received the Balkan Literary Award in 1997, and it was published in Spain, Korea, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, and Bulgaria. Livaneli's first published work was a collection of his stories published under the title "A Child in Purgatory" in 1978. His stories were later published in Germany in 1983, in Iran in 2004 and the story that gave the book its title was filmed by Swedish and German televisions.
Livaneli has also published a number of books comprising of his short essays and the scores of his compositions. His latest non-fictional work is "Conversations with Gorbachev on Revolution" which consists of his comprehensive interview with Gorbachev and Livaneli's essays.
Alongside his artistic career, Livaneli has been a highly influential political figure for the past thirty years. Being one of the foremost defenders of Turkish-Greek friendship, in 1986, he founded the Greek-Turkish Friendship Committee together with the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.
In 1995, he was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO in recognition of his contributions to world peace. He still continues to work on UNESCO's Culture of Peace programs worldwide. In 2002, he was selected a Member of Parliament from the Republican People's Party (CHP).
Since 2005 he has been an independent Member of the Parliament. He has been writing editorials for different Turkish dailies since 1989. He gave a series of lectures at the universities of Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Stuttgart, Harvard and Princeton.
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Books by Livaneli