Country 20 of 196
- U. S. A.
- The Republic of Korea
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Trinidad and Tobago
- South Africa
Project 196, my attempt to read and post on a short story from all 196 countries of the world is now ten percent complete. The final ten percent will not be so easy to find!
So far I have posted for the project on stories by Nobel Laureates from Peru, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA. Today I will be posting on a very good story by Orhan Pamuk, from Turkey, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. (There is a good author biography on his official web site.)
"Distant Relations", set the author's birthplace Istanbul, is a very good story that compresses a great deal in a few pages. The story is told in the first person by a young man from a very wealthy family with ties to the old Turkish nobility. He is about to marry, as his parents keep telling him over and over, a woman from a very good family. He is an executive in the family business. We learn quite a bit about his family life and about his relationship to his girl friend. One day he is walking past a shop, owned by a distant relative and he decides to go in. He meets the shop worker, also a distant relative, and finds the young woman very attractive. He buys an expensive purse for his finance. He gives it to her expecting a big reaction only to have her say "It is a fake". She tells him he must take it back to the shop and get his money back. Now the story really gets interesting and as this story can be read in the free archives of The New Yorker and I will let you discover what happens if you like.
I enjoyed this story a lot. It was translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely.
You can read it here.