One of Turkey’s most celebrated writers explores themes of violence, otherness, and exile through a thrilling hybrid of poetry and prose that paints a vivid picture of Turkey’s conflict-torn lands.
In the two books paired here, translated into English for the first time, the great Turkish writer Ferit Edgü represents complex social and political realities with startling lyricism. The Wounded Age features a newspaper reporter from Istanbul, assigned to write about ethno-national violence in the mountains of eastern Turkey. Like the narrators in Eastern Tales, he is a stranger in a region where a buried history–the state’s violence against Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians–continues uninterrupted with the subjugation of the Kurds. Language in this place, especially the language of outsiders, cannot be trusted. In the story “Interview,” an old villager tells the narrator, “Make our photograph,” and adds, “Send us the pictures. No need to write us letters.” The minimal tales Edgü tells are vivid pictures of life in the East–a house in ruins, an empty crib, wolves howling in the hills–and transcriptions of living voices. The reporter in The Wounded Age has no illusions that his story will stop the bloodletting; instead, he goes east because he knows he must open his eyes and unstop his ears.
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