A "magical, marvellous" epic of an empire in collapse: Book one in the acclaimed Ottoman Quartet by the award-winning Turkish author and political dissident (La Stampa, Italy).Tracking the decline and fall of the Ottoman empire, Ahmet Altan's Ottoman Quartet spans fifty years from the end of the nineteenth century to the post-WWI rise of Atatu]rk as leader of the new Turkey. In Like a Sword Wound, a modern-day resident of Istanbul is visited by the ghosts of his ancestors, finally free to tell their stories "under the broad, dark wings of death."
Among the characters who come to life are an Ottoman army officer; the Sultan's personal doctor; a scion of the royal house whose Western education brings him into conflict with his family's legacy; and a beguiling Turkish aristocrat who, while fond of her emancipated life in Paris, finds herself drawn to a conservative Muslim spiritual leader. As their stories of intimate desire and personal betrayal unfold, the society that spawned them is transforming and the sublime empire disintegrating.
Here is a Turkish saga reminiscent of War and Peace, written in lively, contemporary prose that traces not only the social currents of the time but also the erotic and emotional lives of its characters. "An engrossing novel of obsessive love and oppressive tyranny, a tale of collapse that dramatizes the fateful moments of an empire and its subjects."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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About the Author
Ahmet Altan, one of today's most important Turkish writers and journalists, was arrested in September 2016. An advocate for Kurdish and Armenian minorities and a central figure in the Turkish cultural world (Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk has written about his arrest and signed an open letter calling for his release), he is the author of five successful novels. The first, published when he was twenty-seven years old, won the Grand Prix from the Akademi Publishing House. In 2009 he received the prestigious Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media from the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, and in 2011 he received the International Hrant Dink Award. The international bestseller Endgame was his English-language debut.
Yelda Türedi was born in Mersin in 1970 and studied chemical engineering at Boğaziçi University. Brendan Freely was born in Princeton in 1959 and studied psychology at Yale University. They have been working as freelance literary translators since 2004. Among the books they have translated are, Two Girls by Perihan Mağden, The Gaze by Elif Şafak, The Eunuch of Constantinople, Leyla's House and Serenade by Zülfü Livaneli, Like a Sword Wound by Ahmet Altan, While Climbing Above the Clouds by Cem Kozlu, After Me Continuity by Akın Öngör and In the Shadow of My Eyelashes by Şebnem İşigüzel.
Praise for Like a Sword Wound
"This is an engrossing novel of obsessive love and oppressive tyranny, a tale of collapse that dramatizes the fateful moments of an empire and its subjects." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A breathless portrait of late-19th century Istanbul." --Asymptote
Praise for Ahmet Altan's Endgame, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year
"Although it offers an implicit critique of Turkey's corrupt justice system, Endgame is also comic and charmingly absurd, largely due to the reckless efforts of its characters to gp>et even." --The Washington Post
"Existential questions perfectly blended with atmosphere and rat-a-tat prose; highly recommended." --Library Journal (Starred Review)
"A gripping existential thriller in the vein of Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games (2006)." --Kirkus Reviews
"Atlan's work is at once atmospheric and distant [...]. Each of the threads are artfully crafted and do come together nicely by the end, as promised. Altan's characters are, at times, difficult to penetrate, but his story is pointed, enigmatic, and difficult to forget." --Publishers Weekly
"Endgame is a rare beast: a mystery adventure in the age of internet, of such intimately written humanity that it transcends genre, time and place. If Steinbeck had written The Godfather it might have read like this." --DBC Pierre, author of Vernon God Little
"Endgame is deeply political. It is populated by characters who try to grab that hypothetical treasure on the hill and in so doing tear their local paradise apart. Altan has a deep understanding of what drives them on. It is all very serious but also great fun." --The Guardian
"A deeply compelling and immersive narrative about love, desire, loneliness and landscape. Ahmet Altan is one of the foremost voices in Turkish literature and has much to say to the world." --Elif Shafak, author of The Bastard of Istanbul and The Architect's Apprentice
"Altan pushes the tropes of detective fiction into existentialist territory." --The New Yorker, Briefly Noted
"An impassioned, captivating dance, a waltz between death and desire that does not release you for even a single moment." --Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
"Endgame is a complex and immensely readable book-insightful, disturbing, irritating and riveting." --Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature
"Extraordinary, delicious, wise." --Linn Ullmann, author of The Cold Song
"A remarkable story about a fascinating part of Turkish history." --The Historical Novels Review