The Other Side of the Mountain
Winner of Turkey's most prestigious literary prize, The Other Side of the Mountain traces the lives of three generations of a Turkish family, from the end of the Ottoman Empire to the 1990s. Running through the novel, like a tributary to its source, is a daughter's journey back to her mother's student days at Cambridge and later struggles to find a place in Atatürk's new social order.
I was born n the mddle of the century. I can remember the fftes, the years after the war, the world beng rebult under the percng glare of the atom bomb, to the rhythms of rumba, samba and cha-cha, backed by sted voces echong from nstruments of death.
I remember black heaps of coal on whte snow. I remember delvery boys bent under the heavy burden of ther baskets of coal. I remember ther dlapdated shoes exposng bare feet. I remember the cold classrooms, and lvng rooms where only the area round the coal-fre stove was warm enough. I remember voyages, boats that saled to Istanbul from the Black Sea town where my father was born. I remember the mserable crowds crammed on the thrd-class decks, huddled together wth ther sheep and goats.
I remember my dreams . . . about women n Chrstan Dor evenng gowns wth low-cut necklnes and
bare shoulders, dancng on golden, gleamng parquet oors of halls that I had never seen but heard of, bathed n lght oodng from crystal chandelers . . . the game of 'sex appeal'...
'This is a bold and poignant novel, a powerful evocation not only of Turkish history through the twentieth century, but also of world history and of the interweaving of nationalism and ideology. The sentimental. The blending of the personal and the documentary is superbly handled. This is a remarkable and important novel.'
- Margaret Drabble
'Literature ascends to great heights when a novelist portrays the spirit and history of a nation with such unforgettable characters that the reader feels a native of that country. The Other Side of the Mountain masterfully provides that universal appeal. Erendiz Atasüi presents us with the soul of Turkey. This is an outstanding achievement.'
- Moris Farhi