Secret Dreams in Istanbul

Secret Dreams in Istanbul

By Nermin Yıldırım
Translated by Ümit Hussein

Anthem Cosmopolis Writings

A highly intelligent, empathetic account of a family haunted by dark secrets. Simultaneously a psychological study, a focus for feminism, a novel of intrigue, it has the unique and laudable ability to win the reader’s sympathy for the most unsavoury of characters. 

Paperback, 362 Pages

ISBN:9781785275821

December 2020

£12.99, $18.95

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

One evening Pilar, the novel’s Spanish protagonist, returns from work to discover that her husband, Eyüp, has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared from the home they share in Barcelona. She learns from the police the following morning that he has boarded a plane for Istanbul, the city of his birth that he has not visited since he left it almost two decades previously. Mystified as to what could have provoked such uncharacteristic behaviour, and assailed by her own insecurities, she decides to follow him there and bring him back. Packing a tiny bag with just a few clothes and the dream diary that Eyüp’s psychologist has asked him to keep in an attempt to get to the bottom of what has been perturbing his sleep, she sets off for Istanbul, where she will embark on a journey of painful discovery. Meeting Eyüp’s dysfunctional family, from which he has been as good as estranged since before she has known him, and his friends, and seeing the city where he grew up for the first time, she will piece together the clues to uncover the horrifying truth about what drove Eyüp away.

Each chapter is narrated from the perspective of a different character, beginning with Pilar, and continuing with Müesser, Eyüp’s long suffering and resigned unmarried elder sister, Veysel, Eyüp’s belligerent and embittered elder brother, Perihan, Veysel’s spiteful, mean-spirited wife, and two minor characters, Bülent, Veysel’s twelve year old son, and Bünyamin, Perihan’s younger brother. Each chapter is followed by a dream from Eyüp’s dream diary. These dreams, which begin very frivolously, grow progressively more serious as Eyüp remembers more and more of his dreams, until the disturbing climax which ends the novel.

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Author Information

Nermin Yɪldɪrɪm’s work is characterised by its preoccupation with themes related to personal and collective memory. Her novels have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Serbian, Bulgarian, Polish, Azerbaijani and Macedonian. Secret Dreams in Istanbul is her second novel and the first to be translated into English. 

Ümit Hussein, of Turkish-Cypriot origin, was born and grew up in London. In 2018 her translation of Burhan Sönmez’s novel, Istanbul Istanbul, won the EBRD Literature Prize.

Series

Anthem Cosmopolis Writings

Table of Contents

1. Pilar; 2. Müesser; 3. Veysel; 4. Perihan; 5. Pilar; 6. Müesser; 7. Perihan; 8. Pilar; 9. Bülent; 10. Bünyamin; 11. Pilar; 12. Müesser; 13. Pilar; Glossary and Translator’s Notes; References.

Links

No Podcasts for this title.

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