Review of ‘Bir Türk Ailesinin Öykusu’ by İrfan Orga Translated by Dr. Arın Bayraktaroğlu Everest 2009 I was a little confused when I bought this book. I thought as it was written by a Turk, that it had been first published in Turkish. I was wrong. It was first published in 1950 in the UK under the name “Portrait of a Turkish Family”. It was published in Turkish 44 years later. It tells the story of İrfan Orga from his Click for more

Cloudy Weather

Review of ‘Bir Sonbahar Akşamı’ by Sait Faik Abasıyanık Edited by Raşit Çavaş Doğan Kardeş Kitaplığı/Yapı Kredi Yayınları 2009   My first encounter of Sait Faik was a TRT series way back in 2002. It was called ‘Havada Bulut’ and took place on Burgaz Adası where Sait Faik lived. Bearing in mind that my Turkish was pretty poor back then my impression was of a sad man with an altogether too-inquisitive postman, a quiet thoughtful man, an outsider in his Click for more

Focus on Turkey

Next week the London Book Fair takes place in Earls Court in London. It looks like it will be a great event with over 1600 exhibitors from 58 countries. Turkey is the Market Focus this year and will have a large presence at the fair. From cultural events, translation seminars, author interviews and much more there’s a lot going on. You can check out all the details, along with contributor information in this booklet. There’s some familiar faces here with Click for more

On The Road

Review of ‘Yolda – Seçme Öyküler’ by Yaşar Kemal Edited by Güven Turan Doğan Kardeş Kitaplığı/Yapı Kredi Yayınları 2010   I bought this book along with several others by a variety of authors from a Yapı Kredi bookstore in Izmir last October. The series has dozens of book of collected stories by well-known Turkish authors and is ideal for someone who wants to get a taste of their writing for a very reasonable price. The stories in this book are Click for more

Voyager in Cliché

Review of “Gizli Anların Yolcusu” by Ayşe Kulin Everest Yayinlari 2011   I groaned aloud while reading this book, I couldn’t help it. One lover snuck up behind the other, covered his eyes. The younger said “I wonder who that is. I wonder whose hands those are, let me think,” before delivering the killer line “how lovely you smell”. Wouldn’t you groan too? If I tell you this scene is between a young man from eastern Turkey, raised by a Click for more


  Review of ‘Sadakat’ by Inci Aral Turkuvaz Kitap 2009 This is a subtle and disturbing book. It starts with Azra (name meaning ‘virginal, untouched’) writing a journal from her communal prison cell. She is in prison awaiting the results of a post mortem on her husband’s body, accused of murdering him. She details her seven-year relationship with Ferda (name meaning ‘tomorrow’ or ‘Judgement Day’), their attraction, their arguments and fights. Their relationship is fraught; he can be irritable and Click for more

Fish Flops

This book was an impulse buy when the kids dragged me into a bookshop (ok who am I kidding, myself and the Brown-Eyed Girl dragged Little Boy Blue). While they searched in the children’s section I scanned the shelves. Interestingly the books were arranged by author, not genre, so my search for a novel was complicated by the fact that Buket Uzuner has written travel memoirs and essays. This book was most definitely a novel with a rather strange picture Click for more