The Girl From the Golden Horn by Kurban Said
Translated From the German by Jenia Graman

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Synopsis

The extraordinary saga of the mysterious life of Kurban Said was told in amazing detail in a recent New Yorker article. One of the most beguiling mysteries it uncovered was the existence of another magical novel— The Girl From the Golden Horn. It is being published in English now for the first time.

It is 1928 and Asiadeh Anbara and her father, members of the Turkish royal court, find themselves in exile in Berlin after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Years ago she had been promised to a Turkish prince but now, under the spell of the West, the nineteen-year-old Muslim girl falls in love and marries a Viennese doctor, an "unbeliever." But when she again meets the prince—now a screenwriter living in exile in New York—and he decide he wants her as his wife, she is torn between the marriage she made in good faith and her promised duty made long ago.

The Girl From the Golden Horn is a novel of the clash of cultures and values—of prewar Istanbul and decadent postwar Berlin. And, of course, Muslims and Christians. But it is also about the clash within Asiadeh herself, and the tension between duty and desire. The Girl From the Golden Horn is an insinuatingly and strikingly beautiful novel—suspenseful and exotic—and Kurban Said is, once again, in full control of his power to entertain and enthrall.

Translated by Jenia Graman.
 

About Kurban Said

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Kurban Said was the pseudonym of Lev Nussimbaum, who grew up in Baku and died in Italy in 1942.
 
Published November 12, 2001 by Overlook Hardcover. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Girl From the Golden Horn

Kirkus Reviews

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Then, in a parallel narrative, the missing Prince (Abdul-Kerim) shows up—as jaded New York film scriptwriter “John Rolland.” A particularly clunky plot twist informs him of Asiadeh’s location, and the old ways insinuate themselves powerfully into both characters’ new lives.

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The New York Times

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In ''The Girl From the Golden Horn,'' a Muslim girl, Asiadeh, the daughter of a Turkish pasha who has fled to Berlin in the 1920's after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, falls in love with and marries a Viennese doctor.

Jan 06 2002 | Read Full Review of The Girl From the Golden Horn...

Publishers Weekly

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An evocative new translation of a second novel by the author of Ali and Nino, this rich and memorable work follows one woman's journeys in the landscape of exile and love in post-WWI Europe.

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Book Reporter

In these times of strained relations between Muslims and Christians, Kurban Said's second book, written in 1938, foreshadows and underscores Kipling's adage: East is East and West is West but never the twain shall meet.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Girl From the Golden Horn...

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