The Applicant

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Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 1.1 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Nazlı Koca is a writer and poet from Turkey who now lives in the US. Her writing has appeared in the Threepenny Review, Bookforum, and Second Factory, among other outlets. The Applicant is her first novel.

A February Indie Next PickA Winter/Spring 2023 Indies Introduce Featured TitleA Most Anticipated Book of Winter 2023 from Bustle, Vulture, and Literary Hub

"Wry and the tradition of writers like Ferrante." -- New York Times Book Review

"Irresistibly consumable yet compellingly durable...An introspective meditation on the infinite absurdities that constrain the possibilities of autonomy and creativity in the early twenty-first century." -- Ploughshares

"Told through tense, sardonic journal entries that are as cutting as they are tender, The Applicant sheds light on the grim reality of pursuing the life of an artist." -- Vulture, 30 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Winter"Superb... [The Applicant] has a brilliant, and challenging, political awareness." -- Telegraph (UK)

"Koca's pen portraits from the world of the Berliner precariat feel fresh and authentic. We learn about how cleaners organize their days, how they use apps on Android phones assigned to them, and how they keep unclaimed items left in their rooms . . . The Applicant brims with vivid vignettes of Berlin." -- Los Angeles Review of Books

"Leyla is a witty, acutely observant, and deeply sympathetic character who manages to tell the details of her life--both the transcendent epiphanies and the debauched aftermaths--with an honesty that disavows patronizing pity. This is a book about some of the largest issues of our time--ethnic identity, national belonging, the psychological traumas of patriarchy and White supremacy, sexual ownership, feminist reckoning--but it is also, and perhaps primarily, a book about the intimacy between a character and a reader as one agrees to talk and the other agrees to listen. A powerful debut that heralds a voice intent on being heard." -- Kirkus reviews, starred review"Sometimes you encounter a character in a book who you genuinely want to hang out with. We could be friends in real life, you think. Reader, meet Leyla... a protagonist to root for." -- Literary Hub, Most Anticipated Books of 2023

"Excellently written, this first work presents Leyla as an authentic individual who will not easily be forgotten, and exquisitely explores the frustrations and insights of an inquiring mind sorting out past history, boyfriends and lovers, dreams and reality." -- Library Journal, starred review

"Truly unique... A powerful book that pinpoints exactly where our contradictions lie. It is so powerful, in fact, that it can do all this while still making you laugh." -- Bookpage

"The Applicant is a stunning debut, marking the arrival of an important and radical new literary voice. Nazlı Koca's narrator, Leyla, a Turkish ex-student desperate to extend her stay in Berlin, ruthlessly interrogates the unspoken compromises, hypocrisies, double standards, and hierarchies that govern life in what can broadly be called the western world. An exhilarating and sometimes alarming tour of a rarely described stratum of migrants, workers, and ex-students. Electric, witty, compulsively readable, humane, and excoriating. A book I won't forget." -- Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot and Either/Or

"Hilarious and troubling in equal parts, The Applicant is an unforgettable meditation on sex, censorship, displacement, and loss. Nazlı Koca captures the cacophonous rhythms of an emotionally eviscerated life with verve and humor." -- Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, author of Call Me Zebra"An exuberant debut from Nazli Koca, who has something to declare about both the boldness and the fear gripping the young navigating the cruel farce of our modern world. A smart mix of fury and wit, altogether timely about the chasms of class and identity, the pull of family and the search for self." -- Manuel Muñoz, author of The Consequences"The Applicant is an exceptional novel, part kunstroman, part bildungsroman, part newcomer's guide to the S-Bahn and U-Bahn of art, work, art work, sex work, drugs and immigration. Like Acker, Koca is her own (displaced) Dante, guiding herself and her readers through a lively urban nocturne constellated with literature and alight with that most vital and phenomenal of currents: youth." -- Joyelle McSweeney, author of Toxicon and Arachne "Nazli Koca has the rare gift of making you laugh and weep within a page. Bold and original, the writing pulses with techno, soap operas, and late-night banter. But like the silence between two beats, its profound wisdom and unbearable tenderness reverberate. Quietly devastating, The Applicant left me with the most wonderful ache." -- Sanaë Lemoine, author of The Margot Affair"The Applicant is a virtuosic, visceral meditation on borders, in-betweenness, and identity, and a testament to why we read in the first place: to laugh, to be devastated. With exhilarating and eviscerating wit, Nazlı Koca is a daring and provocative prose stylist with heart." -- Patrick Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace
"The Applicant is brilliant in its mordant and moving portrait of Leyla, a Turkish immigrant in Berlin who cleans a hostel for pay, parties by night, and yearns for the freedom to write every moment in between. Shining a critically frank light on citizenship, censorship, belonging and loss, Nazlı Koca writes masterfully about a young artist's sheer will to live and to write despite the monumental cost of living as a migrant in the Western world. I inhaled this novel like its pages were air to breathe." -- Mina Seçkin, author of The Four Humors