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October 2017

What Unites Us: Turkish Short Stories

Image: Serkan Özkaya, Proletarier Aller Länder, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

This month we bring you short stories from Turkey. As the country struggles with polarization and instability, the six writers here demonstrate the unifying power of literature in the face of political upheaval and divisions. Yalçın Tosun's lonely teenaged boys find their routine, and possibly their lives, upended. Deniz Tarsus channels the victims and survivors of an infamous disaster. Behçet Çelik tempts fate by heading out under curfew. Emrah Serbes observes a martyr's younger brother turned (hapless) terrorist hunter. Karin Karakaşlı reveals the personal side of the political divide between Turks and Armenians. And Sine Ergün's young man discovers a secret world in a most unlikely place.  From Istanbul, the writer Elliot Ackerman contributes an insightful overview. Elsewhere, we showcase multicultural writing from Quebec, and present the second in a series of radio dramas. 

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Book Reviews

The Well-Stocked Mind: In Juan Benet’s Essays, a Magisterial and Daunting Exploration of the Form

Reviewed by Anne Posten

In "The Construction of the Tower of Babel," the Spanish writer tackles Bruegel, the Bible, and the necessity of treason

Beyond the Rice Fields: A Sweeping Look at the History of Slavery and Modernization in Madagascar

Reviewed by Kate Prengel

Malagasy writer Naivo's ambitious historical novel grapples with love, colonialism, and the transformation of a society.

Solid but Yielding: Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s “Third-Millennium Heart”

Reviewed by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue

Olsen and Jensen create a world in which humans, reconfigured as animal machines, somehow assume their most human form.

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