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A Conversation with Maureen Freely and Zain Khalid at the McNally Jackson Seaport bookstore
May 24, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm$5.00
Join Maureen Freely and Zain Khalid for an in-person discussion of Maureen’s translation of Sevgi Soysal’s Dawn at the McNally Jackson Seaport bookstore. Dawn is a fiercely lucid examination of voices of protest in Turkey amid political turmoil. The conversation will take place on May 24th at 7 pm EST.
Maureen Freely was born in the US, raised in Turkey, and educated at Harvard. A professor at the University of Warwick, she is currently the president of English PEN. Her seventh novel, Sailing through Byzantium, was chosen as one of the best novels of 2014 by The Sunday Times. She has translated or co-translated a number of Turkish memoirs and classics, including The Time Regulation Institute by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar and five works by the Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk. She also co-translated A Useless Man by Sait Faik Abasıyanık with Alex Dawes. She is widely regarded as the foremost translator of Turkish literature. Sevgi Soysal was the first writer she ever translated.
Zain Khalid’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, n+1, The Believer, Astra Magazine, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and elsewhere. His debut novel, BROTHER ALIVE (Grove Atlantic), is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for best first book in any genre and was named a best book of 2022 by Library Journal and other outlets. He is also the fiction editor at The Drift.
Sevgi Soysal was born in Istanbul in 1936. Her work is inspired by her childhood in Ankara, youth and student movements in Turkey, revolutionary dreams, and experiences of leftist intellectuals in prison and in exile. In 1974, Soysal won the prestigious Orhan Kemal Award for Best Novel for Noontime in Yenişehir, which she wrote while in prison. Dawn was published in 1975, a beautiful thematic companion to her memoirs of prison life, which were originally published in the newspaper Politika and published in a single volume as Yıldırım Area Women’s Ward in 1976. She wrote a brilliant set of endearing and illuminating story collections, novels, and memoirs over the course of her short life. Soysal died at the age of 40 of cancer in 1976. She left behind an incomplete novel, Welcome, Death!