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The Wounded Age and Eastern Tales — Ferit Edgü

The Wounded Age and Eastern Tales — Ferit Edgü


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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.

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