Life is a Caravanserai: Has Two Doors, I Came in One, I Went out the Other. Translated by Luise Von Flotow-Evans

Life is a Caravanserai – Has Two Doors – I Came in One – I Went Out the Other, 2000) is an autobiographically inspired novel about a girl’s childhood and adolescence in Turkey in the nineteen fifties and seventies.  The family’s frequent moves are formative, just as the archaic lifestyle which is faced with the radical modernisation of the state.  Özdamar presents experiences, stories, fantasies, myths and dreams in a strongly sensitive but unsentimental fashion.  She binds together Anatolia’s culture with modern discourses and contemporary politics with a fast pace narration.  Özdamar characteristically works with the phonetic and figurative aspects of the German language, thereby inserting oriental influences and her very own speech patterns, to develop a novel poetic idiom.  »A radical recovery of the animistic visual, of picture linguistics, of the linguistic picture, … the return of imagination to the words« admires Wolfram Schütte in his laudation for the award of the »LiteraTour Nord« prize.

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