Category Archives: Turkish Literature

Selim Ileri

Boundless Solitude

Milet Books 2004

Boundless Solitude relates the story of closet-lesbian Handan Sarp, a soprano at the Istanbul City Opera. Weighed down by the psychological trauma of her constant struggle in the claustrophobic heterosexual world around her, she is trapped in a complex web of introspection. She is also a victim of her own snobbery and class values, reflected in her relationship with a young working-class seamstress.  It is an intense exploration of suppressed feelings and the queer underworld of Istanbul. Excellent translation by Mark Wyers.

Reviews and Info

Available from:

Independent Publishers Group (USA)


Hasan Ali Toptaş

Writer:  Hasan Ali Toptaş
Life:  1958-
Born:  Denizli

Known for his skilful and imaginative use of language,Toptas is an important figure in Turkish postmodern literature. His blurring of reality and surreality have led to inevitable comparisons with Kafka. His novel Gölgesizler was made into a film of the same name. It was directed by Ümit Ünal, and Toptas also made a personal appearance in the film. The English translation of his novel, Heba, was published in 2013.

Translated works with links to publishers, summaries and reviews:

English title: Reckless
Turkish title: Heba
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Reviews: Bloomsbury
  TimeOut Istanbul
   Deccan Herald (India)

Other useful links:

Children of War by Ahmet Yorulmaz

After my English translation of the Turkish novel Savaşın Çocukları (Children of War) was a winner in the PEN presents Europe Awards for 2015, Neem Tree Press expressed an interest in having the whole book translated. The book is set on Crete before the outbreak of World War One and is one of my all time favourite novels. The book has now been published in English and is available in traditional and e-book formats. It is available from all major book stores. Here is a link to more information about the book on Neem Tree Press website: Children of War.

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar 1901-1962

Tanpınar’s novels are set in the period after the establishment of the Turkish Republic and reflect the angst of intellectuals living through a radical top down revolution.

Currently two of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s novels are available in English:

The Time Regulation Institute (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü)
Translated by Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe, Penguin Classics
A Mind at Peace (Huzur)
Translated by Erdağ Göknar, Archipelago Books

New York Times review of The Time Regulation Institute
Guardian review of the Time Regulation Institute
Quarterly Conversation review of a Mind at Peace
Archipelago Books review of Mind at Peace
University of Rochester Three Percent review of Mind at Peace