Kemal Kuray is lucky to escape with his life after his beloved F-16 hurtles to the ground in a test flight. Convalescence comes in the form of a comfortable monthly allowance and an opulent apartment in a mysterious neighborhood of Istanbul, inexplicably left to him by an acquaintance in the Air Force.
But there’s a price to pay. His Edgar Allen Poe-obsessed benefactor sets him on a wild goose chase from the back streets of Istanbul to the broad avenues of Buenos Aires, and finally to Poe’s grave in Baltimore. But what exactly is Kemal searching for? Missing persons, yes, but there’s more – he is looking for the embodiment of Poe’s most famous poem, “Annabel Lee”, “to love and be loved.”
About the Author
Selçuk Altun was born in Artvin, Turkey in 1950. He is a retired banking executive and bibliophile. His works include The Sultan of Byzantium, Songs My Mother Never Taught Me and Many and Many a Year Ago. He lives in Istanbul.
About the Translator
Clifford Endres is the Head of American Literature at Has University in Istanbul. He is the author of Austin City Limits (University of Texas, 1987) and Joannes Secundus (Archon Books, 1981). Selhan Endres teaches in the department of American Literature at Has University. Her essays are published in international periodicals.
'Music-loving aesthete and Turkish air-force pilot, Kemal enters a weird twilight existence in Istanbul after his plane crashes and a secret benefactor sets him up in a grand house in the haunted streets of old Balat. There follows an entertaining, somewhat absurd Hitchcockian comedy-mystery, rich in dropped names and arty jokes. It sends Kemal to the US on the trail of Edgar Allan Poe. For readers, this cheeky romp, briskly translated by Clifford and Selhan Endres, may appeal most for its atmospheric glimpses of an inexhaustible city.' Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'Adventurous and original ... One of the most important Turkish novelists of his generation.' John Ashbery