Çiler Ilhan

Translated by Kenneth Dakan

Istros Books



ISBN: 9781912545391


Publication date: 27 May 2024



A celebratory dinner and engagement ceremony is to be held at a large home in Our Village, in southeast Turkey. Halil, the cousin of the future bride, Leyla, is sent to a nearby village to buy the traditional cologne. Leyla’s sister, Maral, is told to go door-to-door to remind everyone to attend. Throughout the long day, the other women of the household clean, cook and toil. Meanwhile, a duststorm descends out of nowhere and a menacing mist settles over the village streets.

This harrowing tale, which spans sixteen hours and is told through the eyes of a mysterious narrator, delves into the bad blood between two timeless villages where most of the men are heavily armed village guards, and there is money to be made in agriculture, oil, fish farms and more. Geographical complexities, tangled relations, hazy memories and unreliable witnesses make for a story in which perhaps is nothing as it seems…

“With this spare, haunting novella, Çiler İlhan has crafted a lyrical little tale that packs a devastating punch. No matter how many times the wily narrator refers to the coming “incident,” it is impossible to be prepared for the evil that descends on the engagement party. But the true depth of the horror portrayed in this folktale lies in the author’s Afterword where she puts her story into context.” Joe Schrieber, Roughghosts