AUTHOR / ORHAN KEMAL
Could you please tell me
more about Orhan Kemal's place in the canon of Turkish Literature? Are
there prominent writers from other countries whom you might compare him
Orhan Kemal is the most
significant peak in Turkish Literature. He was the first author who
wrote about the working class, their problems and also he put the
workingwoman in his novels for the first time in Turkey. There is a
visual appeal in his works. As you read the book, you see that dialogues
have an important place in his works. The book flows like a movie in
your eyes. Therefore, many of his works were made into movies and
If we want to compare him
to prominent writers of other countries, they will be like John
Steinbeck, Jack London, Maxim Gorki, Emile Zola, Anton Chekhov,
Stendhal, Solohov, Pushkin, Turgenyev and Panait Istrati.
He was in the jail between
1940-43 with the greatest poet of Turkey, Nazim Hikmet and he is also
the mentor of Yasar Kemal in Turkish Literature. Contemporary Turkish
writer, Orhan Pamuk, was awarded with Orhan Kemal Novel Award, which is
the most prestigious literal award in Turkey.
Orhan Kemal has still a
very important place in Turkish literature. Last year, his new publisher
published and sold 120,000 copies of Gemile. My Father's House and The
Idle Years have been published as 100,000 copies. This shows that he
protects his place in Turkish literature. As the outcome of our works,
the publishers in China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Canada, England,
Bulgaria, Denmark, Holland, Spain and Israel have interest in our books.
Do one or two of his books
stand out as his finest or best-loved works?
Orhan Kemal has 25 novels,
11 short stories and 1 memory published in Turkey. At least 20 of his
books have the quality to be read also abroad. The number of publishing
of some of his books have reached to 20. His most known and read books
in Turkey are: Bereketli Topraklar Uzerinde (On Fertile Lands), Eskici
ve Ogullari (The Cobbler and his sons), Mufettisler Mufettisi, Baba Evi
(My Father's House), Avare Yillar (The Idle Years), Cemile (Gemile),
72.Kogus (The Prisoners), Once Ekmek, El Kizi (Outsider Girl), Gurbet
Kuslari (Birds of Exile), Mourtaza, Ekmek Kavgasi, Vukuat Var, Hanimin
Ciftligi, Uc Kagitci, Suclu, Kanli Topraklar, Yagmur Yuklu Bulutlar,
Dunya Evi and Arkadas Isliklari.
You can find details for 5
synopsises in our website:
Orhan Kemal, himself, is a
phenomenon in Turkish Literature.
If we arranged to publish
one of his novels, could we commission a new translation?
It is all up to you, you
can use our translations or have them translated again. We are ready to
do what we need to do on this subject.
Are there organizations or
institutions in the U.S. who might want to support the publication of
his works this country?
Financial support will be
from TEDA project of Turkish Ministry of Culture.
You can check the website
www.orhankemal.org that he is still popular in press and media.
There is also Orhan Kemal
Museum in Istanbul opened by Ministry of Culture.