A Mind at Peace by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar

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Surviving the childhood trauma of his parents’ untimely deaths in the early skirmishes of World War I, Mümtaz is raised and mentored in Istanbul by his cousin Ihsan and his cosmopolitan family of intellectuals. Having lived through the tumultuous cultural revolutions following the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of the early Turkish Republic, each is challenged by the difficulties brought about by such rapid social change.
The promise of modernization and progress has given way to crippling anxiety rather than hope for the future. Fragmentation and destabilization seem the only certainties within the new World where they now find themselves. Mümtaz takes refuge in the fading past, immersing himself in literature and music, but when he falls in love with Nuran, a complex woman with demanding relatives, he is forced to confront the challenges of the World at large. Can their love save them from the turbulent times and protect them from disaster, or will inner obsessions, along with powerful social forces seemingly set against them, tear the couple apart?
A Mind at Peace, originally published in 1949 is a magnum opus, a Turkish Ulysses and a lyrical homage to Istanbul. With an innate awareness of how dueling cultural mentalities can lead to the distress of divided selves, Tanpinar gauges this moment in history by masterfully portraying its register on the layered psyches of his Istanbulite characters.

About Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar

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Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar (1901–1962) was a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, literary historian, and professor. He is considered the most significant Turkish novelist of the twentieth century.Alexander Dawe is an American translator of French and Turkish. He lives in Istanbul.Maureen Freely is the principal translator of the Nobel Prize–winning Turkish novelist, Orhan Pamuk,. Born in the U.S., she now lives in England.Pankaj Mishra is an award-winning novelist and essayist whose writing appears frequently in the New York Review of Books, the Guardian, and the London Review of Books. He lives in London and India.
Published March 22, 2011 by Archipelago. 457 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Originally published in 1949, Tanpinar's sweeping literary masterpiece is a love story of his native Turkey and of the flesh.

Sep 08 2008 | Read Full Review of A Mind at Peace

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