© Cihan Öncü
The Turkish writer Çiler İlhan (1972) studied International Relations and Political Science at the Bosporus University in Istanbul and writes for various newspapers and journals. In 2010 her released his second book, Sürgün, which won the EU Literature Prize in 2011 and has been translated into twenty languages. In 2017 Sürgün was published by De Geus in a Dutch translation by Sytske Breunesse (titled Verbannen). Sürgünis made up of a range of short stories that form one novel. In the short episodes that sometimes take up only one or two pages, normal Turkish citizens are given a voice. The end result is a kaleidoscopic novel about people who are alienated from their homeland, families and the society they belong to.
“There are many excellent reasons to read European literature more often, but if we have to name three, they would be: Jim Crace, Cynan Jones and Çiler İlhan.” De Standaard
“The stories in Sürgün grab you and don’t let go. The world the stories inhabit is usually conveyed to us in a negative way by newsreaders, yet İlhan only needs a few words to put you in the midst of things.” Hans van der Heijden, Leeuwarder Courant.