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A young girl navigates the joys and sorrows of rural life on the cusp of the modern world in mid-twentieth century Turkey.
The Blacksmith’s Daughter
Gül is often frustratingly reticent, like a character in a 19th-century novel, unwilling to say the very thing that will save her. But because we readers see her in such detail and are aware of her every thought, we feel everything she feels in this exceptionally fine, beautifully translated novel.
—Declan O’Driscoll, The Irish Times
Reading it was like falling in love. If everyone read this book, the world would be a better place – more considerate, more liveable, more tolerant.
—Fatih Akın, director of the film The Edge of Heaven
About the Book:
(Translated by Ayça Türkoglu and Katy Derbyshire)
A close-knit family is transformed forever when its matriarch tragically dies, leaving behind a husband, Timur the blacksmith, and their three young daughters. The Blacksmith’s Daughter follows the life of the eldest daughter, Gül, who is growing up in rural Turkey in the 1940s and ’50s.
When Timur remarries, the girls’ new stepmother has none of their mother’s warmth, so Gül feels compelled to take on the role of mother to her younger siblings. Their village upbringing is full of simple pleasures: summer evenings sat outside listening to the radio, games played in the street. But the world is evolving, and with an emerging focus on economic growth and prosperity as modernity creeps in, Gül’s future is unknown. Through all the hardships and uncertainty, what remains ever-constant is the close bond she shares with her father, who deeply respects and cherishes his first-born.
The Blacksmith’s Daughter is an enchanting glimpse into how a young girl navigates loss, identity and altered family dynamics, while her simple way of life is changing too.
About the Author:
Selim Özdoğan was born in Germany in 1971 and has been publishing his prose since 1995. He has won numerous prizes and grants and taught creative writing at the University of Michigan.