Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills

Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills

by Latife Tekin
     
 

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A nihilistic wit reminiscent of Samuel Beckett.?Independent on Sunday

The cast-offs of modern urban society are driven out onto the edges of the city and left to make a life there for themselves. They are not, however, in any natural wilderness, but in a world of refuse and useless junk?a place which denies any form of sustainable life. Here, the

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Overview


A nihilistic wit reminiscent of Samuel Beckett.?Independent on Sunday

The cast-offs of modern urban society are driven out onto the edges of the city and left to make a life there for themselves. They are not, however, in any natural wilderness, but in a world of refuse and useless junk?a place which denies any form of sustainable life. Here, the unemployed, the homeless, the old and the bereft struggle to build shelters out of old tin cans, scavenge for food and fight against insuperable odds.

And yet somehow they survive: it seems that society thrives on the garbage hills because it has always been built on one. In this dark fairy tale full of scenes taken from what has increasingly become a way of life for many inhabitants on this planet, Latife Tekin has written a grim parable of human destiny.

A major best seller in her native Turkey, Latife Tekin maintains a politically active presence and has written a number of literary works.

Saliha Paker translates Turkish poetry and is a member of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham. Ruth Christie is a translator of Turkish poetry and prose.

"A provocative and enjoyable work."?Times Literary Supplement

"A small masterpiece of beauty."?Women's Review of Books

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drawing on the testimony of squatters crammed into makeshift dwellings on the outskirts of Istanbul in the 1960s, Turkish author Tekin paints a fictional portrait of destitute people who literally create a community on a refuse heap. The story of Flower Hill, as the community comes to be called, encapsulates the development of civilization: the inhabitants evolve from exploited workers in unsafe, toxin-emitting factories into union strikers battling the police, from unacknowledged squatters into townspeople whose community is at least nominally given regard by those who wield power in the outside world. Among the more interesting personalities are Gullu Baba, Flower Hill's oldest and wisest resident; Fidan of Many Skills, who teaches women the art of lovemaking; and, most colorful of all, Lado the gambler. Few of the characters are this compelling, however, and Tekin may turn off some readers with a nearly dialogue-free narrative whose metaphorical prose has more in common with that of fairy tales than with the language of conventionally realistic fiction. The later chapters contain the best episodes, but most readers will tire of the effort long before. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780714530116
Publisher:
Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
Publication date:
07/01/2000
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.40(d)

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