Thursday, 29 October 2009

Istanbul

I’ve always wanted to go to Istanbul. I was planning to go there this autumn, in fact, and read a lovely little book to prepare myself: The Bridge by Geert Mak.

He’s a Dutch journalist who spent some time - weeks? months? - hanging around the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. If he’d been a clumsier writer, he could have turned the book into a heavy-handed discussion of the bridge’s symbolic position between West and East, Europe and Asia. Instead, he describes the scene and the locals with a wonderfully light touch. One day, I’m going to see it for myself. One day...

I remembered The Bridge this week, because I was sent a copy of one of my books in a language that I couldn’t recognise, let alone understand. I had to open the title page even to discover that it was a Turkish translation. The thought of Grk in Istanbul made me want to jump on a plane and go there myself.

Here are the Turkish editions of A Dog Called Grk...


...and Bearkeeper...

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