A nation is known, recognized and distinguished among the world nations by certain characteristic features. The highest and the greatest of these features is culture.


Ummulbanu Banine, the first French-speaking Azerbaijani writer

One of the most famous representatives of Azerbaijani literature of the 20th century, the writer and translator Ummulbanu Mirza gizi Asadullayeva (Banine), was born in Baku in January 1905.

At the age of 19, she went to France to live with her relatives. After a period of unemployment, she began working in a stationery store. Ummulbanu, who used to talk about Baku in her spare time, wrote down her memories on the recommendation of her French friends. Parisian life, especially the literary environment of the 1930s, sparked Ummulbanu's interest in creativity. She dealt mainly with subjects related to Azerbaijan. The debut novel of the young writer, entitled "Nami," was published in 1934. According to research, her book "Caucasian Days" was published in 1946 under the pen name "Banine". After the book's publication, Banine attracted the attention of Western writers such as André Malraux, Ivan Bunin, Nikos Kazantzakis, Henry de Montherlant, and Ernst Jünger.

After this work, the theme of which was taken from life in Azerbaijan, the author wrote "Parisian Days", "Meetings with Ernst Jünger", "After", "The Call of the Last Chance", "Foreign France", "Portrait of Ernst Jünger" and other novels. These works were also received with interest by a large audience. She also tried her hand as a translator. She made translations from Russian, English, and German.

Banine was always proud of her Azerbaijani origin. The writer wasn't indifferent to the truths of her native land. In the early 1990s, as a member of the "Azerbaijani House" association operating in Paris, Ummulbanu Banine wrote articles about the events in Karabakh and informed the French public about the atrocities committed by the Armenians against our people.

Banine's last literary work, the novel "What Mary told me" - was published in 1991. She died a year later, on October 29, 1992. The Parisian newspaper "Le Figaro" reported the writer's death on the same day under the headline, "The first French-speaking Azerbaijani writer Banine has died"


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