Sait Faik Abasıyanık was born in Adapazarı in 1906 and died in Istanbul in 1954. In twelve books of short stories, two novels, and a book of poetry, Sait Faik’s prose celebrates the natural world and renders in vivid detail the struggles of his characters: ancient coffeehouse proprietors and priests, dream-addled fishermen and poets of the Princes’ Isles, lovers and wandering minstrels of another time. Many stories are loosely autobiographically and deal with Sait Faik’s frustration with social convention, the relentless pace of westernization, and the slow yet steady ethnic cleansing of his city. Seemingly in keeping with the restrictions that the new Republic placed on language and culture, the fluid, limpid surfaces of these tales craftily veil the deeper truths lying in their subversive undercurrents. Sait Faik is greatly revered to this day, lending his name to Turkey’s most prestigious short story award. Nearly every Turk knows by heart a line or a story by Sait Faik.
Publication of A Useless Man is made possible by the generous support of the Turkish Cultural Foundation, the Moon and Stars Project of the American Turkish Society, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism through the TEDA Program.