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 and translated into English for the first time, the great Turkish writer Ferit Edgü represents complex social and political realities with startling lyricism and economy, written in his characteristically spare style. The Wounded Age features a newspaper reporter, assigned to write about ethno-national violence in the mountainous region of eastern Turkey. Like the narrators in Eastern Tales, who are teachers and writers from Istanbul, he is a stranger in a region that both confounds and attracts; language in this place, especially his own language, cannot be trusted.
The stories in Eastern Tales provide a buried and unspoken history of violence that continues uninterrupted into the present. Each tale of death, dispossession, and exile echoes catastrophes in the past, forming an increasingly resonant ledger of a tragic history. The state’s denial and justification of violence against its ethnic communities—the genocide of the Armenians and massacres of the Greeks and Assyrians in the last century—carries over into its continuing subjugation of the Kurds. The minimal tales Edgü tells are vivid pictures of life in the East 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.
About the Author
Ferit Edgü is a Turkish writer of poems, novels, and essays. He has been awarded both the prestigious Sait Faik Literature Prize and the Sedat Simavi Prize for Literature.
Aron Aji is a Turkish translator and the President of The American Literary Translators Association. He has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, and other Turkish writers. He is the Director of MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa.
"A stark and ferocious love letter to a forgotten people, in a gorgeous translation that is utterly true to the wounded dreamscapes of the original. To read these pages is to be there, swept by mountain snows and the cruel winds of politics, undone by harsh beauty and the endless tragedy unfolding." —Maureen Freely
“Ferit Edgü re-creates the yearning, severity, and timeless cycles of the Eastern Turkish landscape with intense lyricism and masterful sparsity. His unique voice has long been a force in Turkish literature and is translated by Aron Aji with the same haunting vigor.” —Ayşegül Savas