From an award-winning Turkish novelist comes a powerful English-language debut about a girl's coming of age amid violent unrest--and her unexpected escape.
A young woman climbs the tallest tree in Istanbul's centuries-old Gülhane Park, determined to live out the rest of her days there. Perched in an abandoned stork's nest in a sanctuary of branches and leaves, she tries to make sense of the rising tide of violence in the world below. Torn between the desire to forget all that has happened and the need to remember, her story, and the stories of those around her, begins to unfold.
Then, unexpectedly, comes a soul mate with a shared destiny. A lonely boy working at a nearby hotel looks up and falls in love. The two share stories of the fates of their families, of a changing city, and of their political awakenings in the Gezi Park protests. Together, they navigate their histories of love and loss, set against a backdrop of societal tension leading up to the tragic bombing that marked a turn in Turkey's democracy--and sent a young girl fleeing into the trees.
Narrated by one of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary fiction--as full of audacious humor and irony as she is of rage and grief--this unsparing and poetic novel of political madness, precarious dreams, and the will to survive brilliantly captures a girl's road to defiance in a world turned upside down, in which it is only from the treetops that she can find a grip on reality--and the promise of hope.
About the Author
Şebnem İşigüzel was born in 1973. Her first book, Hanene ay dogacak (The Future Looks Bright), won the prestigious Yunus Nadi Literature Award for published collections of short stories in 1993. She has gone on to write eight novels and two more short story collections. The Girl in the Tree, published in Turkey in 2016, is her first novel to be translated into English.
Mark David Wyers completed his BA in literature at the University of Tampa and his MA in Turkish studies at the University of Arizona. From 2008 to 2013 he was the director of the academic writing center at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, during which time he drew upon his master's thesis to write a historical book-length study titled "Wicked" Istanbul: The Regulation of Prostitution in the Early Turkish Republic. He has since dedicated himself to working on translations of Turkish novels, published examples of which include Boundless Solitude by Selim İleri, The King of Taksim Square by Emrah Serbes, The Pasha of Cuisine by Saygın Ersin, and The Peace Machine by Özgür Mumcu. His translations of Turkish short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and journals.