Once there was a white elephant, an Indian boy who was his friend, an architect, several sultans, and a mystery. My introduction to Turkish fiction was the beautifully written The Architect’s Apprentice (2015). The author, Elif Shafak (sometimes spelled “Safak”), has written eight books; the best known is probably The Bastard of Istanbul.

In an interview on the BBC World Book Club — my favorite podcast about books — she spoke very intensely about the importance of diversity and cosmopolitanism. (Listen to it now! Click the icon above her name and close your eyes; it’s a radio broadcast.)

In 2006, Turkish author Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Eisenhower Library has 11 of his books. (His Nobel lecture is beautiful.)

In the library catalog, the SUBJECT heading Turkey–fiction gives almost 90 results:

The Library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia (now part of Selçuk, Turkey) built to store 12,000 scrolls.

There is a list of popular Turkish fiction books — written in English — from Goodreads.

Here is more from Elif Shafak about Turkish women, diversity, her own upbringing by a single mother, and how her latest novel, Three Daughters of Eve (2016) reflects these themes.

Finally, here is a mystery, or actually several mysteries: a book written in 1943 has suddenly, inexplicably, become very popular. Here is more detail about the plot — and the murder of the author — of Madonna in a Fur Coat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.