The third book in the Ottoman Quartet
“A deeply compelling and immersive narrative about love, desire, loneliness and landscape.”—Elif Shafak (on book 1 of the series)
“Altan uses a Tolstoyan combination of the epic and the intimate to explore questions of national identity and historical narrative.”—The Observer
“Altan’s descriptions of a stifling atmosphere of authoritarian repression in Istanbul in the early 1900s conjure up constant comparisons with today’s Turkey.”—The TLS
The third book in the Ottoman Quartet, set in the years leading up to WWI, is steeped in the tumultuous events and the political struggle that shaped 20th century Turkey, from the war against the Bulgarian army and the coup that resulted in the nation’s one-party rule. Against this background, a tormented, obsessive love affair unfolds between Nizam, the son of Hikmet Bey, and Russian pianist Anya.
This tapestry of love and war allows Altan to analyse the structure of male power and its degeneration into violence against women, uncompromising nationalism, and pervasive censorship.
Atan confirms himself as a caustic, courageous writer, never afraid to denounce an arrogant and undemocratic power, allowing the reader to read between the lines the situation of contemporary Turkey.
Ahmet Altan, one of today’s most important Turkish writers and journalists, was arrested in September 2016 and is serving a life sentence on false charges. An advocate for Kurdish and Armenian minorities and a strong voice of dissent in his country, his arrest and conviction received widespread international criticism (51 Nobel laureates signed an open letter to Turkey’s president calling for Altan’s release). Altan is the author of ten novels—all bestsellers in Turkey—and seven books of essays. In 2009 he received the Freedom and Future of the Media Prize from the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, and in 2011 he was awarded the International Hrant Dink Award. The international bestseller Endgame was his English-language debut, and was named one of the fifty notable works of fiction of 2017 by The Washington Post. Like a Sword Wound is the winner of the prestigious Yunus Nadi Novel Prize in Turkey.