Writing & News

Reviews of The Blacksmith’s Daughter by Selim Özdoğan

Review in Sydney Morning Herald/The Age, January 2022

“Selim Ozdogan is a writer of the Turkish diaspora, born in Germany. The first in a trilogy, this novel is realist, focused on aspirational workers. It is also a devastating critique of entitled patriarchy and its consequences: smothered women. The blacksmith Timur is a loving father who still lets his daughter Gul have little agency beyond the domestic, being a maid for her stepmother. In turn, Gul is devoured by thoughts unspoken, paths never taken. If the father is wilful with money, then the daughter is with self-abnegation. Ozdogan draws village life skilfully: hard, relieved by summer abundance, but cursed with envy and malice. It is possible to escape, the hope of better wages causing emigration to Germany. Again, this decision is not for Gul to make.”