Book Info

Songs My Mother Never Taught Me
ISBN: 9781846590535
eISBN: 9781846591105
August 2008
13 x 20 cm
180 pages

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About the Author
Selçuk Altun was born in Artvin, Turkey in 1950. He lives in Istanbul and is a retired banking executive and bibliophile.

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Songs My Mother Never Taught Me

Selçuk Altun


After the death of his overbearing mother, the privileged Arda reclines in his wealth, reflecting on his young life, and on the life of his father, the famous mathematician Mürsel Ergenekon, who was murdered on Arda's fourteenth birthday. While on the other side of the city ‘your humble servant’ Bedirhan has decided to pack in his ten-year career as an assassin.

Their two lives become intrinsically bound in this remarkable thriller that takes us through the streets of Istanbul. We learn that Bedirhan in fact killed Arda's father, and that they share more in common than he or we could imagine.

Meanwhile, Selçuk Altun, a former family friend, is playing a deadly game, providing Arda with clues to track down his father's killer.


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'A deft, zinging whodunnit which is also a metaphysical puzzle worthy of the Oulipo group. Altun's prose has a dreamlike urgency; his novel is a major achievement.'
John Ashbery

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My mother, the most fearless woman I'd ever known, had succumbed to cancer. After seven weeks in the hospital so charmingly named after Florence Nightingale, she died. Her final words before entering Intensive Care had been, 'They say the best doner kebab house in Istanbul is on the street to the right of this building. Go and try it, Arda...'

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