Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Bastard of Istanbul

Oof. I picked up this book at SeaTac airport, thinking it might help provide some insight during my upcoming trip to Istanbul. This is the author, Elif Shafak's, second book written in English. I'm guessing/hoping her previous books were better-written.

I *am* enjoying the little observations of Istanbul life--how women handle heckling men; how in Turkish one can add an -ist to the end of any noun to come up with a new profession, like "tangerinist" to describe one who sells tangerines; how when you apologize to Allah, you must do it three times: forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.

But passages like the following grate:

"It is not a baby!" Zeliha shrugged. "At this stage, I'd rather call it a droplet. That'd be more scientific!"
"Scientific! You are not scientific, you are cold-blooded!" Cevriye burst into tears. "Cold-blooded! That's what you are!"
"Well, I have good news then. I have not killed . . . it--her--whatever!" Zeliha turned toward her sister calmly. "Not that I did not want to. I did! I tried to have the droplet aborted but somehow it did not happen."

I ask you! Why so many exclamation points!

1 comment:

Charles said...

I'm so glad you've taken up blogging! The photos are great! I love the white on black! I like the purple on white and black, too! I love Elif Shafik! He (or she!) is my favorite writer!