Ankara, the capital city in the heart of Turkey at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, East and West, is a hotspot in the Cold War, torn between communism and conservatism, Western freedoms and traditional ways, with an army fearful of democracy and a government that employs thugs and torture to enforce law and order. In the summer of 1980, tensions are building. Homes of the poor are being burnt down. Armed revolutionaries on college campuses battle right-wings militias in the city's neighborhoods. The lines between good and bad, right and wrong, and beautiful and ugly are blurred by shed blood.
Two children, one from a family living in misery and one well-off, form an alliance amid the turmoil. Through their senses, the cityscape unfolds its wonders, its rich smells and colors, as they try to make sense of the events swirling around them. And they hatch a plan. For the first time in generations, mute swans have migrated from Russia to the Black Sea and to a park at the center of Ankara. For the generals, they are an affirmation, and their wings must be broken so they can't fly away. But if the children can save one swan, won't they have saved the freedom of all?
AuthorEce Temelkuran, Kenneth Dakan
Published7 November 2017
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Ece Temelkuran, one of Turkey’s best-known novelists and political commentators, was a prominent investigative journalist before her controversial explorations of Kurdish and Armenian issues led to her dismissal. She was a visiting fellow at Oxford and delivered the Freedom Lecture as a guest of Amnesty International and the Prince Claus Foundation. She has contributed articles to the New York Times and the Guardian. Her books have been published in nineteen countries. She lives in Istanbul and Zagreb.
"This novel creates a lump in your throat when you can't decide whether to laugh or cry."Diken (newspaper)
"Have you ever heard people laugh as if birds were flying out of their mouths? Or thought about how alive objects can be? Everything seems possible in Ece Temelkuran's latest. . . . Those who are not familiar with Turkish history, will learn a lot about this dark era. . . .[A] wonderful novel." Mine Krause, Turkish Literature Blog
"The Time of Mute Swans has all the richness and the secret poetica of the Turkish language. A flawless novel with many layers." Oya Baydar, author of The Lost World
"The novel is not only a personal archaeology of its author but also proposes an extraordinary way to remember the past for the reader." Haberturk e-newspaper
"A book of resistance in the midst of desperation. It is a book of remembrance in a country of forgetting." Onur Kula, professor of Turkish literature