TE16 Turkish Delight

TRAFIKA EUROPE 16 —TURKISH DELIGHT EDITOR’S WELCOME Considering how vast Turkey is, with eighty million people on the cusp of Europe and Asia, its thriving literary scenes at home and its numerous, notable expatriate communities, present-day Turkish literature is surprisingly little-known in English. This full-issue focus, Trafika Europe 16: TurkishDelight , brings you some of thesemany lights in fiction and poetry, both within Turkey and resident abroad. These writers young and old, seven women and eight men, represent an exciting spectrum of voices, both “at home” and farther afield, traditional and new. Several of the writers featured here have had extended run-ins with political violence and imprisonment, both in the past and presently. So the range here is great. Novelist Burhan Sönmez has achieved a concentrated wonder with his fourth novel, Labyrinth , just out in English translation fromOther Press. A studied, sensual narrative of a young jazz musician slowly regaining his bearings following sudden amnesia brought on by a spontaneous attempted suicide, the narrative doubles as a vehicle for observations on some deeper currents in contemporary Istanbul.

[Please check out Trafika Europe’s Conversation with Burhan Sönmez , discussing Labyrinth (25-minute audio)]

Mario Levi is one of Istanbul’s most cherished novelists. Two strands of literary inheritancecombine inhim– thatof the traditional Yiddish storyteller, togetherwith thehighmodernismof Joyce, VirginiaWoolf and Marcel Proust. The excerpt here is from Our Best Love Story , released last year in English translation by Dalkey Archive Press.


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