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Sevgi Soysal

Sevgi Soysal was born in Istanbul in 1936. She grew up in Ankara with her father, an architect-bureaucrat originally from Salonica, and her German mother. She studied archaeology in Ankara, continuing her education in that field as well as theater at Göttingen University. Soysal's first volume of short stories, Tutkulu Perçem (Passionate Bangs), was published in 1962, the same year that Soysal began working for the Turkish national television and radio (TRT). She went on to write Tante Rosa, a novel of interconnected stories based upon the life and personality of her aunt, Rosel. Her novel addressing male-female relationships and the issue of marriage, Yürümek (Walking), was banned upon charges of obscenity. In 1974 Soysal won the prestigious Orhan Kemal Award for Best Novel for Yenişehir'de Bir Öğle Vakti (Noontime in Yenişehir), which she had written while in prison. Her novel Şafak (Dawn), in which she criticized the coup of 12 March by way of the story of a woman exiled in Adana, was published in 1975. Her memoirs of prison life, originally published in the newspaper Politika, were published in a single volume as Yıldırım Bölge Kadınlar Koğuşu (Yıldırım Area Women's Ward) in 1976. In another book of short stories, Barış Adlı Çocuk (A Child Named Peace), Soysal describes with great literary aplomb the social and political changes during that time, often based upon keen observations of her personal experiences. Soysal died of cancer in 1976. She left behind an incomplete novel, Hoşgeldin Ölüm (Welcome, Death!).

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