New “Counterspeak” Episode Available Now

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Counterspeak podcast cover artA new episode of Counterspeak, the monthly podcast of the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE), is now available for download on BookWebSpotify, and iTunes. This installment, “On Author Akram Aylisli and Book Burning in Azerbaijan,” features an interview with Katherine Young, translator of the banned book Farewell, Aylis: A Non-Traditional Novel in Three Works by Akram Aylisli (Academic Studies Press).

Counterspeak, which launched in December, is co-hosted by American Booksellers Association Content Director Sydney Jarrard; Director of ABFE, Advocacy, and Public Policy Dave Grogan; and Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator Maria Peroni. The podcast addresses issues pertaining to free expression and the First Amendment.

In this episode, Young and Jarrard discuss Farewell, Aylis and the experience of its author. Due to the book’s critical depiction of the Armenian Genocide, it is banned — and copies of Aylisli’s books were burned — in Azerbaijan. Since the publication of the novella “Stone Dreams,” included in the book, Aylisli has been subjected to a harassment campaign. He currently remains under de facto house arrest in Baku, Azerbaijan. During the interview, Young shared her views on the importance of reading censored books and how we can support banned authors.

More information on the case of Akram Aylisli can be found on and Young’s website.

Each month, Counterspeak features interviews with experts on the First Amendment and free speech, as well as discussions on relevant current events. A new episode is available on the first Wednesday of every month on BookWebSpotify, and iTunes. For more information, check out Counterspeak’short introductory episode.