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Catalog Archive / Fall 2024

Translated by Jon Cho-Polizzi

“A profoundly moving journey through grief toward freedom.”
—Musa Okwonga, author of In the End, It Was All about Love

An epic family novel

After laboring in Germany for thirty years, Hüseyin uses his hard-earned savings to purchase a sunny and spacious flat in Istanbul, envisioning the joys of retirement in his home country with his wife, Emine, by his side. But in a cruel twist of fate, he dies of a heart attack on the day he moves in. As Hüseyin’s children and wife travel to Turkey for his funeral, the novel explores their lives and dreams: a teenage son struggling to embrace his sexuality; a college-educated daughter desperate to align conflicting facets of her identity; a first-born son racialized and profiled all his life, forced to perform a role he could not choose for himself; a daughter left behind in rural Turkey who dreams of recapturing her family’s love after joining them in Germany as a teenager; and a mother unable to break free from the cycles of violence that have defined her.

In this epic tale, Fatma Aydemir explores the lives of characters who could not be more different from one another—except in their insatiable desires to be understood. Rather than a seamless narrative, the novel circles around suppressed memories, unspoken trauma, and buried pasts. Turning expectations and stereotypes of the immigrant experience on their side, Aydemir shows how we all grapple with power and beauty, the holes in our lives, and the demons that hover just out of sight.


Fatma Aydemir, born in Karlsruhe, lives in Berlin and works as a journalist, publicist, and editor. Her debut novel, Ellbogen (Elbow), was published by Hanser in 2017 and won the Klaus Michael Kühne Prize and the Franz Hessel Prize for best authorial debut. In 2019 she published the anthology Eure Heimat ist unser Albtraum (Your Homeland Is Our Nightmare) together with Hengameh Yaghoobifarah.

Jon Cho-Polizzi is a literary translator and assistant professor of German at the University of Michigan. He is the coeditor of Fatma Aydemir and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah’s translated essay collection Your Homeland Is Our Nightmare as well as the translator of Sharon Dodua Otoo’s Adas Raum (Ada’s Realm) and Max Czollek’s Desintegriert Euch! (De-Integrate! A Jewish Survival Guide for the 21st Century).


Praise for the German edition

“A stunningly intense and multilayered novel—a brilliant family epic.”

“It’s hard to tear yourself away.”
SPIEGEL Bestseller supplement



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Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction









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September 2024
298 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Paper $17.95
ISBN 9780299349240
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