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“Yeni Dünya” by Sabahattin Ali is a collection of 13 stories set from 1936 to 1942 that will make you discover the soul of Anatolia at its best
“Yeni Dünya” by Sabahattin Ali
Sabahattin Ali, classic author of Turkish fiction, in the thirteen stories of “A New World” accompanies us in Anatolia in the 30s and 40s, through stories of reality, poverty, hunger, despair, love. As a great observer of Turkish society, he writes about the hardships and obstacles encountered by the Anatolian people in the transition from a peasant society to a modern society, an eternal dilemma on which the stories and difficulties of the characters hinge. Sabahattin Ali manages to reflect the anguish of the Anatolian people, and of all human beings, under the anvil of power, writing with great skill a universal history, whose mechanisms do not vary with the passage of time and history.
Stories of Anatolia
In “Yeni Dünya”, or “New World”, Sabahattin Ali it will immerse us more than ever in rural Anatolia which is changing faster and faster while remaining, de facto, intact in heart and mind; the collection was in fact published in 1943, just 20 years after the birth of contemporary Turkey, and through glimpses and stories, it perfectly shows how this country was transformed in the very first years of its history. The interesting thing is that “Yeni Dünya” never talks about big cities like Istanbul or Ankara, but focuses on the stories of the Anatolian countryside, places where even today thousands of customs and traditions remain alive.
But be careful to imagine everything as something extremely bucolic: the Turkish countryside recounted by Sabahattin Ali is full of fatigue and suffering, smiles and death, something that truly reflects the suffering experienced by its inhabitants, leaving a mark on the skin similar to that of writers such as Yaşar Kemal and Irfan Orga, where the countryside is as beautiful as it is full of pitfalls and perspiration.
Who do I recommend it to
“Yeni Dünya” by Sabahattin Ali is the perfect book for those who want to truly explore rural Anatolia and the stories of its inhabitants, focusing more on the air and the dynamics of the place than those of a single narrative. In fact, some great writers such as Yashar Kemal tend to write grandiose novels which, however wonderful, focus on the dynamics relating to that particular context and characters, while the strength of “Yeni Dünya” is precisely that of telling many glimpses set in areas and years different of Turkey, resulting in a unique experience.
Furthermore, it should be emphasized that Sabahattin Ali is considered among the greatest Turkish writers of all time and this same work, although it is not famous as “Yusuf of Kuyucak” or “The Madonna in a fur coat” can still be counted among his works most important. If you want to complete your collection of Turkish literature with a collection with a classic, Anatolian and at the same time rare flavor, this is the book for you.
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