Sevgi Soysal wrote Noontime In Yenişehir when she was in prison for the second time, for political reasons. The author offers us a bunch of people by taking Yenişehir district of Ankara to the background. Yenişehir is a long-forgotten area in the capital of Turkey, but the characters in this book won’t be forgotten for a long time. Characters living in Ankara in the 1960s may sound too unfamiliar, but believe me, you will see that you know them very well.
Noontime In Yenişehir was the first Soysal book I’ve read. I have decided to read plenty of Turkish women writers this year. So, my friends, who read a lot, not only offered me their favourite authors but also gave me books as gifts. As a matter of fact this great book was one of the gifts. I sometimes think that I’m so lucky; I’ve so many beautiful people in my life. Anyway, let’s get back to the book.
Soysal writes about people from all walks of life in this novel. There are revolutionaries, spendthrifts as well as professors and prostitutes and many more. She paints a picture of Turkey with its people, and she is extremely good with her characters. On the one hand, you will read about people who are stuck in their little lives, and on the other, those who seek the future, the dreamers. Not only these, but you will also see the people who work in various jobs to gey by. The honourable, the immoral, the wise, the fool. And you will see how they all touch each other’s lives in this big, complicated world.
This is a novel that will envelop you from head to toe; you’ll want to go and eat a snack at the Piknik while watching the people all around. If you haven’t read any Turkish women writers yet, I highly recommend this book. Enjoy!
About the book: Noontime In Yenisehir
Seemingly disparate lives are brought together in a clever, prism-like plot in this award-winning novel. The story is based on three people–Ali, Dogan, and Olcay. However vividly depicts the struggle between the older generation who were content with the new (post-Ottoman) Turkey and who are disturbed by changes sought and brought on by the rebellious young generation. In this unforgettable, epic portrait of 1960s Turkey, while the personal and political are intertwined in a questioning of what fidelity means–to sibling, lover, country, and cause.
About the author: Sevgi Soysal
Sevgi Soysal was born in Istanbul in 1936. She grew up in Ankara with her father, an architect-bureaucrat originally from Salonica, and her German mother. She studied archaeology in Ankara, continuing her education in that field as well as theater at Göttingen University.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: