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.
The Importance of Stories in an Era of Division
With much of our world deeply divided, stories such as these become more essential than ever to ease our collective pessimism.
Muzaffer and Bananas
We were both quite fat, but Ali’s body carried more promise than mine.
Every night before they went to sleep, the people of the village imagined their own deaths.
All the Streets of the City
“From here on out it’s rooftop to rooftop, hocam.”
The Terrorist Upstairs
"I’m twelve years old, I won’t have to do a lot of time, I’ll be out before you know it."
“Erzurum is a wound I carry inside me.”
The Little Bathroom
Did she or her housemates know about the secret of the bathroom?
Reviewed by Anne Posten
In "The Construction of the Tower of Babel," the Spanish writer tackles Bruegel, the Bible, and the necessity of treason
Reviewed by Kate Prengel
Malagasy writer Naivo's ambitious historical novel grapples with love, colonialism, and the transformation of a society.
Reviewed by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue
Olsen and Jensen create a world in which humans, reconfigured as animal machines, somehow assume their most human form.