Walk into any bookstore in Istanbul, wend your way to the English language aisles, and you'll find every variant of Rumi known to humankind, Orhan Pamuk by the dozen, and a goodly portion of Elif Shafak. All of them, wonderful writers to represent Turkey on this worldreads challenge. But I'd read them all and was looking for something new.
What luck that I chanced upon The Bridge of the Golden Horn by Sevgi Emine Özdamar.
The narrator at turns works in a Berlin factory with other Turks, acts in a Brechtian theater in Istanbul, joins the Communist party, and along the way smokes a remarkable number of cigarettes. It's a coming-of-age story that captures the life of one young migrant worker, but also the zeitgeist of 1960s.
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