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October 2008

Turkish Delights


Guest Editor Levent Yilmaz,

We join the publishing world in a salute to Turkey, the guest of honor at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair and the center of our attention this month. At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this ancient country blends Balkan, Arabic, and Persian influences in a rich and vibrant culture as sprawling and diverse as the landscape itself. Come explore these plural identities with Asli Erdogan, Seyhan Erözçelik, Müge İplikçi, Küçük Iskender, Yaşar Kemal, Birhan Keskin, Murathan Mungan, and Sevgi Soysal, and listen in to a wide-ranging conversation between Claire Messud and Buket Uzuner. A tip of the fez to Levent Yilmaz, the most charming and brilliant Turkish-French-Italian publisher in the world, for sending these Anatolian treats our way.

Story of an Island

And in the desert between the two rivers the battle which had been going on for many days continued. Day and night the whole desert was filled with the intermingled sounds of cannon and

In Conversation

Buket Uzuner: I met Claire Messud in Istanbul in November 2007 while she was visiting the city as one of the guest writers of the Istanbul Book Fair. A week before I met her, I started to

The Prisoner

She woke up long before the alarm. As though wanting to make sure the night was over, she blinked for a while in the dawn. She'd slept a total of three hours, but the night, full of

Tante Rosa, Would-be Horse Acrobat

At the age of eleven, Tante Rosa read the following caption beneath a photo of Queen Victoria in cavalry garb, in the weekly family magazine You and Yours: "The eighteen-year-old Queen

The Hidden Me

Here is the photograph. It was taken on the day my father came out of the Diyarbakır Prison. A huge convoy of hundreds was already at the Kızıltepe entrance and cut off my

Coffee Grinds

"In our house lilies, roses, magnolias, jasmines are blooming, while you are reading fortunes, while I am watching, while I am reading fortunes, while you are watching." 1 People hold

from “Harbinger”

when yıldız was a little girl, big letters were always a problem for her. also the big ideas written in big letters. from the very beginning some people said that it was a


Pass through me, I'll remain, I'll wait, pass through me, but where you pass through me I cannot know. I was told, there's a ripe fruit behind the curtain of patience, the

Pesach Eve

I cleaned the house top to bottom. In all the years' corners dusted life's stray leaves. Polished the proud candlesticks of numberless Sabbaths, the kiddush cups and the

Sorting Laundry

Clean laundry bleached dried piled everywhere. We shake out silently a shirt a sock underwear. Laid out nicely smooth and square nimble hands side by side. The pile

The Train

Some weekends my parents and I went from Mardin to Syria and stayed in Kamışlı, the town nearest to the Turkish border. Although it was a town, I compared


I bought you a lampshade today just the tip of my mind baltimore or an open-doored green Chevrolet, registered a masterpiece sacrifice is the tape you play wayward toward the shore all


Book Reviews

Ferenc Karinthy’s “Metropole”

Reviewed by Robert Buckeye

Stefan Zweig’s “The Post-Office Girl”

Reviewed by Joseph V. Tirella

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