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The novel Ali and Nino is considered one of the pioneering texts of modern Azerbaijan literature. The undiminished interest in the novel with its nearly 100 editions or reprints, and translations into 33 languages, indicates its importance as a universal as well as a national narrative. Despite that, there remains the mystery about the identity of its author who published the book under the pseudonym Kurban Said. According to some researchers, the author is Lev Nussimbaum who worked in Berlin as a journalist and an "expert on the Orient" under the name Essad Bey for a decade between the two World Wars. It is known in Azerbaijan also as the novel of Yusif Vəzir Çəmənzəminli. The debates around the identity of the author and the historical documentation on the topic is without a doubt valuable and contributes to Azerbaijani and Germanophone studies; however, it adds very little, if anything, to our appreciation of the work as a literary text. In my paper, I propose a comparison between the works of Çəmənzəminli and Ali and Nino. I especially focus on Çəmənzəminli's Studentlər and the diary narrative, Bir Cavanin Dəftəri. First, I investigate the themes and characterization of the authors, and then discuss narrative technique and stylistic delicacies. Therefore, setting off from the texts themselves and discarding historical documents as much as I can, I demonstrate a comparative textual analysis and also try to find new means to solve the question of authorship of the novel.