Turkish Literature in Translation Reading Group: Every Fire You Tend by Sema Kaygusuz

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The Turkish Literature in Translation Reading Group aims to gather those who are interested in Turkish literature at UT together. It meets every month throughout the semester and the discussions are held in English. This semester, due to COVID-19 circumstances, all of our discussions will be held virtually, through Zoom. The meetings are open to the entire UT community, as well as interested individuals outside UT. For your questions, please contact İpek Sahinler at ipeksahinler@utexas.edu

In 1938, in the remote Dersim region of Eastern Anatolia, the Turkish Republic launched an operation to erase an entire community of Zaza-speaking Alevi Kurds. Inspired by those brutal events and by the survival of Kaygusuz’s own grandmother, this densely lyrical and allusive novel grapples with the various inheritances of genocide and historical memory as they reverberate across time and place from within the unnamed protagonist’s home in contemporary Istanbul. In sensuous prose fueled by mysticism, wisdom and beauty, Kaygusuz imagines a narrative anchored by the weight of silence and anguish, and driven by the question of how to break the paralysis of ‘the shame of being human.’ W.G. Sebald meets Clarice Lispector in this luminous novel, which is a powerful exploration of the limits of narrative and language, and of a still-taboo subject, deeply significant to the fault lines of modern-day Turkey.
Nicholas Glastonbury is a translator of Turkish and Kurdish literature. His translation of Every Fire You Tend by Sema Kaygusuz won the 2020 TA First Translation Prize from the Society of Authors. He is a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at CUNY Graduate Center.

Dial-In Information


Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Academics, Arts & Humanities, World & Culture


All Departments

Target Audience

Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, General Public



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