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The Girl in the Tree Kindle Edition
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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.
“Inventive, emotional…a wrenching account of a young woman doing her best to escape the violence of her society.” —Publishers Weekly
“Hugely enjoyed and unreservedly recommend…sparky Istanbul teen has had enough of life at ground level (and rightly so.) Keeps spirit intact by moving into a stork’s nest.” —Strong Words Magazine, Twitter
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.
- ASIN : B07LF3RR8S
- Publisher : Amazon Crossing (April 16, 2020)
- Publication date : April 16, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 3327 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 367 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1542041481
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #331,841 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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From the title I was afraid this might be a sweet children's type of story. It was nothing of the sort. This book is serious literature. If you're looking for an escapist mystery or thriller, this book is not for you. But if you read because you enjoy a story with a lot to say - politically, culturally, and morally - then you will love this book.
It is about a girl living in a tree, and the reasons she decided to live in the tree. It's also a story about the people she loves most, her grandmother, her mother, her two aunts, her best friends, and a boy who she falls in love with. It is also a story about being female in a culture which doesn't treat women as equal as men (is there any?). It is also a story about living under an authoritarian government. All this is told in a veritable stream of consciousness style, and the protagonist has a lot to say and doesn't hesitate to say anything which enters her mind.
Some readers may not like the tendency of the protagonist to jump from topic to topic and year to year. But that is how her mind works and she is able to weave and create interesting and likable characters. An interesting secondary plot is how the story is written. The girl in the tree had written a novel for a high school literature course in the same style as this book is written. Her teacher makes all the complaints and criticisms one might make about the style of this novel, and the girl in the tree unapologetically defends all such critiques.
I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy serious literature.
In our protagonist’s case, the violence directed against her, her mother, women in her family and friends’ families, spans generations. How each woman deals with the violence has lasting effects on those that remain or follow.
While reading as a love story between a girl trying to escape her world and tragedies, and a boy who whose gentle heart calms the storm, this book dives into the mental anguish of a victim. The narrative starts off frenzied and unfocused as ‘the girl’ escapes into the canopy of Istanbul’s Gülhane Park. By and by, as the mind starts to unravel painful trajectories and heal, the writing reflects a calmer mind and deeper focus. It is with the depth of focus that we realize that in the world she’s trying to escape, women are but a commodity to be dealt with in whatever manner their contemporaries see fit.
While this novel is fiction, and a warning is given that any resemblance to actual persons or events is purely coincidental, I know that there are corners of this world in which women face our protagonist’s reality daily. I don’t profess to have even a glimmer of understanding in what it would be like to live in such a corner, but Şebnem İşigüzel's book is helping me better understand how derailed a mind can become as a result of such assaults.
Will our protagonist escape the insanity of a harsh reality and find hope and a future in the arms of a gentle soul? Or will she stay forever locked in the prism of anguish that has defined her story thus far?
Among the tragedy, the girl comes to care for Yunis, who, also; has had experienced suffering in his life.
I found the grandmother entertaining, she endured so much, but kept going forward and in some small ways got even. The aunt seems more of a mother figure to the girl, she was the one to go to bat for her. I was disappointed in the ending, not that it was bad, but that I had hoped for a much different outcome. There were plenty of wonderful quotes in the book that I loved.
Although, I enjoyed this book, I didn't love it. I found that I couldn't focus too long on reading it. Maybe it was just me, and also the fact that I'm aware that with any book that has been translated, the original can never quite be exact, because I felt during some chapters that I was missing something I overlooked.