TBR Recommends – March 2022

The City in Crimson Cloak by Aslı Erdogan, Translated from Turkish by Amy Spangler
Soft Skull Press, New York; 256 pp; fiction

One of the most unique and strongest voices of Turkish literature, Aslı Erdoğan is one of my favourite writers. Her autobiographical novel is poetry that hurts and stays with you forever. She takes us through the streets of Rio de Janeiro where we find love, tenderness, violence, genius, madness and more; all at the same time.

The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron, Translated from Hebrew by Steven Cohen
Oneworld Publications, London; 448 pp; fiction

The book truthfully and humorously tells how absurd and complicated life in contemporary Israel can be; how chaos and crises are a natural part of everyday life on such a contradictory piece of land. We follow the lives of various colourful characters who live in an illegal West Bank Jewish settlement neighbouring a Palestinian village. I never read anything quite alike.

The Promise by Damon Galgut
Penguin Random House, UK; 293 pp; fiction

Members of the Swart family whisper us a bitter tale of belonging and discrimination, the latter on many levels. A promise, or rather not keeping it, also becomes a persona of its own. Set in South Africa during the country’s transition out of apartheid, this 2021 Booker Prize winner is melancholic, ironic, beautiful, powerful, masterful. One of my current unforgettable reads.

CategoriesTBR Recommends
Çiler İlhan

Story writer, novelist, essayist. Having contributed to over 15 national and international anthologies, Ilhan has 3 books: Chamber of Dream Merchants (Artemis, 2006); Exile (Everest Publications, 2010) and Nişan Evi (The Engagement, Everest, 2021).

Çiler İlhan studied International Relations and Political Science at Boğaziçi University, and then Hotel Management at the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland. She has worked variably in the fields of hotel management, marketing/communications, and publishing (as editor/writer). Currently living in the Netherlands, she’s a member of Turkish and Dutch PEN.