First Language(s): Azerbaijani, Russian
Second Language(s): English, German
Leyla Shukurova is an Azerbaijani-German writer and social researcher. She grew up between Siberia and Azerbaijan, obtained her undergraduate degree in English Philology in Azerbaijan and her first graduate degree in Intercultural Communication in Germany. However, eight years later the wanderlust got the better of her once again. Starting 2021 she attends NYU and resides in New York City.
What was your favorite book as a child?
The collections of Greek, Scandinavian and Egyptian myths, as well as all of Harry Potter books. I am from that generation which first fell in love with reading thanks to Joanne Rowling and her story about Hogwarts, and the world of magical Britain. Twenty years later, it is still in my heart.
What was the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
The answer to this question flows naturally from the answer to the previous one. As a young teenager, I started writing fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. That phase was over pretty soon, but next I got into the text-based RPGs, then into other forms of writing, until I eventually felt an urge to start creating something original, completely of my own.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
So many things. Let’s say, voluntarily changing three countries of residence in the last ten years just for the fun of it.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
As I have recently realized, I need complete silence to write. Music is something that puts me in a state of trance where writing becomes impossible. Writing does that too, puts me in a trance, but in a different way, which is why I can walk or sing while listening to music but not create texts. I guess, these are two separate paths to absolution for me.
Dispatches from New York City: the ferry ride
Issue Spring '23