“YOU VIEW ME AS A SOLITARY TREE IN AN OPEN FIELD, BUT I AM IN FACT PART OF A FOREST” by Iris Radisch
[…] The protagonists in Mungan’s novels come from a world foreign to German readers – yet still recognizable: in spite of the unfamiliar environment, we are able to identify with their destinies. Their daily lives and their personalities are shaped by an inner conflict between tradition and modern trends, by political developments, by progress and disasters of which the West is sometimes unaware. Mungan’s stories depict the vulnerability of his characters’ seemingly stable self-images. They examine the aspects of life that still distinguish us in our ostensibly globalized world.
[…] Following “Tschador”, Mungan’s volume of stories “Cities of Women” was particularly well-received in Turkey: this collection of short portraits depicting a range of very different women reflects Turkey’s major social upheavals in various lights. Mungan believes that as traditional structures disappear women are playing an increasing role in modern life, re-defining their identities and adopting new roles and positions. It is these women who form the core of his stories. The processes of change addressed here are not, however, without their obstacles.
Iris Radisch is literary editor of the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”. In 2007 she published “Die Schule der Frauen”. In 2008 she was presented with the German Language Association’s Media Award for Language Culture.
© KulturForum / Iris Radisch, Die Zeit, Hamburg, March 2011
Extract from an essay in the booklet accompanying the film series “Human Landscapes – Portraits of Six Turkish Authors”, produced and published by the Turkish-German Forum of Culture.
For more information on the author, go to www.murathanmungan.com