The Book of Istanbul
A CITY IN SHORT FICTION
Ed. Jim Hinks & Gul Turner
'Full of insights and surprises'
£7.95 or £6.75 if you buy online now.
Published: 25 Nov 2010
- The Guardian
, 'Ten Best Books Set in Istanbul'.
Türker Armaner - Murat Gülsoy - Nedim Gürsel - Muge Iplikci - Karin Karakasli - Sema Kaygusuz - Gönül Kivilcim - Mario Levi - Özen Yula - Mehmet Zaman Saçlioglu
Istanbul. Seat of empire. Melting pot where East meets West. Fingertip touching-point between continents.
Even today there are many different versions of the city, different communities, distinct peoples, each with their own turbulent past and challenging interpretation of the present; each providing a distinct topography on which the fictions of the city can play out.
This book brings together ten short stories from some of Turkeys leading writers, taking us on a literary tour of the city, from its famous landmarks to its darkened back streets, exploring the culture, history, and most importantly people that make it the great city it is today. From the exiled writer recalling his appetite for a lost lover, to the mad, homeless man directing traffic in a freelance capacity
the contrasting perspectives of these stories surprise and delight in equal measure, and together present a new kind of guide to the city.
FRI 19 APRIL
ONE NIGHT IN ISTANBUL with Muge Iplikci, Murat Gulsoy and Helen Walsh
To celebrate Turkey being the guest of honour at this year's London Book Fair (and to bring it out of London), Comma is hosting a special evening of readings from our perfect introduction to contemporary Turkish fiction, The Book of Istanbul.
The Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX
6.30pm - 7.30pm
More information here
With support from the British Council.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Türker Armaner holds a PhD in philosophy from Saint-Denis University, Paris. He has taught at many universities in Istanbul and is currently a full-time instructor at the Philosophy Department of Galatasaray University. As a literary author and an academic, Armaner has published three collections of short stories and novellas, Kiyisiz (Without A Coast), Tas Hücre (The Stone Cell), Dalgakiran (Breakwater), and recently a novel, Tahta Sapli Biçak (The Knife With A Wooden Handle).
Murat Gülsoy began his literary career as a writer at the bimonthly magazine Hayalet Gemi (Ghost Ship) in 1992, and has since published eleven books. Besides short stories, he has written three textbooks books addressing modern masters Kafka, Borges, Eco, Stern, Fowles and Orhan Pamuk. Besides being a writer, he also works as an engineer for biomedical science, as a psychologist, and as a teacher for creative writing. He is the chairperson of the editorial board of Bogazici University Press. His last novel, A Week of Kindness in Istanbul has been translated to Chinese, Macedonian, Romanian, and Bulgarian.
Nedim Gürsel has been described by Yashar Kemal as one of the few contemporary Turkish writers who have brought something new to our literature. Born in Gaziantep, Turkey, in 1951, Gürsel was forced - after the coup détat in 1971 - to testify in court over one of his articles, which lead to his temporarily exile in France, where he studied at the Sorbonne. Gürsel then returned to Turkey, but the military putsch of 1980 sent him back into exile in France. He was awarded the Prize of the Academy of Turkish Linguistics and Literature for his first major prose work, A Long Summer in Istanbul (1975), which has been translated into several languages. In 1986, his novel La Première Femme received the Ipeçki Prize for its contribution to conciliation between the Greek and Turkish peoples. His autobiography Au Pays des Poissons Captifs was recently published simultaneously in France and Turkey. His first novel to be translated into English, The Conqueror, was published by Talisman, New York, in 2010. His short story collection Son Tramvay (The Last Tram) will be published in English translation by Comma Press in 2011.
Muge Iplikci made her name with the short story collections Perende (Somersault), Columbusun Kadinlari (Columbus Women), Arkasi Yarin (To Be Continued) and Transit Yolcular (Transit Passengers). Her latest collection of short stories, Kisa Ömürlü Açelyalar (Azaleas), was published in 2010. Shes also written two novels, Kül ve Kel (The Ash and Wind) in 2004, Cemre (The Harbinger) in 2006 and Kafdagi (Mount Kaf) in 2008.
Karin Karakasli was born in Istanbul in 1972. She studied interpretation and translation at the Bogaziçi University of Foreign Languages, and from 1996-2006 was a senior editor at the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, and a columnist for its Turkish and Armenian sections. She currently studies comparative literature and teaches English. Her books include the short story collection Baska dillerin sarkisi (Songs in Other Languages), Müsait bir yerde inebilir miyim (Can I Get Off At The Next Stop?) and Cumba (Alcove).
Sema Kaygusuz was born in 1972 in the Turkish coastal town Samsun. Her debut novel, Yere Düsen Dualar (Wine and Gold) won international recognition recognition upon publication in 2006. In 2007, she wrote the screenplay for Yesim Ustaoglu's film Pandoranin Kutusu (Pandoras Box), which won the Golden Shell at the 2008 International Film Festival in San Sebastian. Her first short story collection, Ortadan Yarisindan (In the Middle of the Half, 2007) explored the struggles of characters grappling with disagreeable or concealed aspects of their personalities. The two following collections, Sandik Lekesi (Box Stain) and Doyma Noktasi (Saturation Point), established Sema Kaygusuz as a distinctive voice in the canon of young Turkish literature in the new millennium, which concerns itself increasingly with questions of identity and individuality. Her most recent novel, Yüzünde Bir Yer (A Spot on Your Face), was inspired by her own grandmother, and deals with the feelings of shame and guilt experienced by someone who survives a massacre. Kaygusuz is a recipient of both the Cevdet-Kudret-Literature Award and the France-Turquie Literary Award.
Gönül Kivilcim graduated from Bosphorus University in Istanbul with a degree in Ecomomics, before completing an MA inCommunication Studies at Bergan University, Norway. Kivilcim has lived in Berlin and Cologne, working for the German television network WDR and the newspaper Radikal. Her first book, a collection of short stories called A Small Town and Lies, was published in 2001. Her other books are Razor Boy (Can, 2002) and Fragmented Loves (Everest, 2004). She lives in Istanbul.
Mario Levi was born in 1957 in Istanbul. His first short story collection, Bir Sehre Gidememek (Unable to go to the City, 1990) won the Haldun Taner Story Prize. A year later, he published his second collection, entitled Madam Floridis Dönmeyebilir (Madam Floridis May Not Return, 1991), which focused on the lives of minorities living in Istanbul. In 1992, Levi wrote his first novel, En Güzel Ask Hikâyemiz (Our Best Love Story). Seven years of silence followed, after which he published the book for which he is perhaps best known, Istanbul Bir Masaldi (Istanbul Was a Fairy Tale). This novel won one of the longest standing literary prizes in Turkey, the Yunus Nadi Novel Prize (2000), and was followed by Lunapark Kapandi (Funfair is Closed) in 2005. His latest novel Karanlik Çökerken Neredeydiniz? (Where Were You When Darkness Fell?) was published in 2009.
Özen Yulas first collection of short stories, Öbür Dünya Bilgisi (Knowledge from the Other World) was published in 1993. His plays have been translated to English, German, French, Italian, Finnish, Polish, Bulgarian, Bosnian, Japanese and Arabic. His recent play, Yala Ama Yutma (Lick but Dont Swallow), caused a national controversy before it opened in Istanbul in 2010. An exploration of womens rights and social justice, it was condemned by the fundamentalist press.
Mehmet Zaman Saçlioglu is best known for his short stories. His two collections, Summer House and Five Islands are considered among the best examples of contemporary short story writing in Turkey. Summer House received the Yunus Nadi Short Story Award in 1993, and the year after was awarded the Sait Falk Award, and a story from Five Islands won the Haldun Taner Short Story Prize. Some of his short stories have been translated into German and English. M. Z. Saçlioglu lives and works in Istanbul, continuing a long career at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Marmara University, Istanbul.
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Gul Turner was born in Istanbul. After graduating in Journalism and Public Relations, she completed a Masters in Marketing. She then worked as a cultural correspondent in Milliyet newspaper and as a Communication and Marketing Manager in Dogan Books. She has organised cultural events and literature festivals. She lives and works in England.
Jim Hinks has worked at Comma Press since 2005, when he helped set up Commas translation imprint, with the remit of bringing the best foreign short fiction to an English-reading audience. Hes the editor of Brace: A new Generation in Short Fiction and ReBerth: Stories from Cities on the Edge. A graduate of The University of Manchesters Novel Writing MA, Jim is also a part time lecturer on the Publishing MA at the University of Central Lancashire. He also works as an Assistant Coordinator for Literature Northwest, devising and hosting training seminars for the region's independent publishers.
Produced in association with the British Council.
With support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourist of the Republic of Turkey - TEDA Project
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