Notable International Crime Novel of the Year – Crime Reads / Lit Hub
From a prize-winning Turkish novelist, a heady, political tale of one man’s search for identity and meaning in Istanbul after the loss of his memory.
A blues singer, Boratin, attempts suicide by jumping off the Bosphorus Bridge, but opens his eyes in the hospital. He has lost his memory, and can't recall why he wished to end his life. He remembers only things that are unrelated to himself, but confuses their timing. He knows that the Ottoman Empire fell, and that the last sultan died, but has no idea when. His mind falters when remembering civilizations, while life, like a labyrinth, leads him down different paths.
From the confusion of his social and individual memory, he is faced with two questions. Does physical recognition provide a sense of identity? Which is more liberating for a man, or a society: knowing the past, or forgetting it?
Embroidered with Borgesian micro-stories,
Labyrinth flows smoothly on the surface while traversing sharp bends beneath the current.
Burhan Sönmez is the author of four novels, which have been published in more than thirty languages. He was born in Turkey and grew up speaking Turkish and Kurdish. He worked as a lawyer in Istanbul before moving to Britain as a political exile. Sönmez's writing has appeared in various newspapers, such as
Die Zeit, and
La Repubblica. He now divides his time between Istanbul and Cambridge.
Ümit Hussein, of Turkish Cypriot origin, was born and raised in London, where she grew up speaking both Turkish and English. She holds an MA in Literary Translation from the University of East Anglia and has translated such authors as Ahmet Altan, Yavuz Ekinci, Sine Ergün and Nermin Yıldırım, among others. She lived and worked in Japan, Portugal, and France before settling in Seville, Spain, where she is now based.