Approaches to Kurban Said's Ali and Nino: Love, Identity, and Intercultural Conflict

Carl Hendrik Niekerk (Editor), Cori Crane (Editor)

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Ali and Nino is a novel published in German in 1937 under the alias "Kurban Said," a love story between a Muslim man and a Christian woman set in Baku, Azerbaijan, during World War I and the country's brief independence. It was a major success, translated into several other languages, but was forgotten by the end of World War II. Recent research by the journalist Tom Reiss has revealed the identity of the author as Lev/Leo Nussimbaum (1905-1942), a Jewish man born in Baku who converted to Islam, worked as a journalist in Berlin, and died forgotten in exile. Reiss's discovery has spurred new interest in the novel, as has the fact that the book prefigures today's perceived conflicts between East and West or Islam and Christianity, but also suggests a more peaceful model of intercultural living in multiethnic Baku's melting pot of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The present volume collects twelve new essays on different aspects of the text by scholars from a variety of disciplines and cultural backgrounds. It is intended to showcase the suitability of Ali and Nino for inclusion in a curriculum focused on German, world literature, or area studies, and to suggest a variety of approaches to the novel while also appealing to its fans.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationRochester
PublisherBoydell & Brewer
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)9781571139900
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameStudies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture


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