İhsan Oktay Anar: Puslu Kıtalar Atlası [The Atlas of Misty Continents]

The latest addition to my website is İhsan Oktay Anar‘s Puslu Kıtalar Atlası [The Atlas of Misty Continents]. This a wonderfully inventive, quasi-historical, very funny novel set in late seventeenth century Istanbul. It is full of colourful characters: a man who creates an atlas by imagining the places, a cuddly but very real bear, a book owned by Lawrence of Arabia, a siege of a Bulgarian town, a crack thief who disguises himself as a woman to get into other people’s houses and ends up as King of the Beggars, known as Pork Eater, and, in particular, a rich and powerful man, head of the Turkish secret service, who has a mirror that predicts an apocalypse in Istanbul. All are linked by Bünyamin, son of the man who created the atlas, who gets hold of a special black coin, seeks to avenge his father and gets caught up in every conspiracy going at that time. Sadly, it has been translated into French, German and Korean but not English.

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