By Justin Mays:
All the details you have to know about this book fair
Do you love books? Are you passionate about international literature? Have you been looking for an old novel for a long time and can't find it anywhere? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you have an appointment pending from December 3 to 11. Istanbul celebrates its book fair at the beginning of next month, an event that brings together hundreds of bookstores, authors and books.
The Istanbul Book Fair began to be held 38 years ago and during these decades it has become the biggest literary event in the country. Every year, almost half a million visitors come to the TÜYAP Fair Convention and Congress Center to soak up literature. If you do not want to miss this event either, we explain all its keys below.
Why you should visit this event?
The Istanbul Book Fair is a unique event in the city since it is the only occasion in which tens of thousands of books, both national and international, are grouped in the same space. In addition to being able to buy the latest novels, attendees will also be able to attend debates, talks, poetry recitals and workshops. Likewise, the organization of the event plans to host some popular authors, so that they can sign their books and talk about their works.
The best novels about Turkey of all time
Literature has always been an alternative way of traveling, knowing, discovering, and imagining worlds that are still unknown to us. In mid-September, the British newspaper The Guardian published its Top 10 best novels ever written about Turkey. If you want to delve into this narrative universe and learn more about one of the most acclaimed countries in the world, here are some of The Guardian's proposals:
1. 'In the shadow of the Yalı', written by Suat Derviş in 1945 and translated to English in 2021. This book is set in 1940 Istanbul and tells the story of Celile. She has been married to her husband for 10 years but, dazzled by the emotions of the tango, she begins to feel attracted to another man. From here, the novel leads readers down the path of uncertainty and indecision that the protagonist has to face.
2. ‘Highly unreliable account of the history of a madhouse’, written by Ayfer Tunç in 2020. This novel begins on the morning of February 14, 2007, in a mental health hospital located near the Black Sea. Throughout almost 400 pages, the reader will travel through time and space to go through the history of the world and learn the details of modern Turkey.
3. ‘The Museum of Innocence’, written by Orhan Pamuk in 2008. This play tells the story of Kemal, the son of one of the richest families in Istanbul, and his obsessive love affair with Fusun, a poor girl who works as a shop assistant. In addition to telling the story of the protagonist, this book also provides an in-depth description of the metropolis.
4. ‘The Flea Palace’, written by Elif Şafak in 2002. This book tells the story of Bonbon Palace, a majestic building in Istanbul that during the time the novel takes place is inhabited by 10 completely different people. Through their lives, the novel mixes humor and tragedy until the end.
5. ‘Middlesex’, written by Jeffrey Eugenides in 2002. This novel won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 and it's no wonder. Its author tells the story of two brothers, of Greek descent but Ottoman citizens, who escape from the war until they reach New York.
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