1934 – 1977
Who was Oğuz Atay?
Oğuz Atay was a pioneer of the modern novel in Turkey. His first novel, Tutunamayanlar, appeared 1971-72. Never reprinted in his lifetime and controversial among critics, it has become a best-seller since a new edition came out in 1984. It has been described as “probably the most eminent novel of twentieth-century Turkish literature”: this reference is due to a UNESCO survey, which goes on: “it poses an earnest challenge to even the most skilled translator with its kaleidoscope of colloquialisms and sheer size.” In fact one translation has so far been published, into Dutch: Het leven in stukken, translated by Hanneke van der Heijden and Margreet Dorleijn. It appears also that a complete English translation exists, of which an excerpt won the Dryden Translation Prize in 2008: see, Comparative Critical Studies, vol.V 99. His book of short stories, Korkuyu Beklerken, has appeared in a French translation by Jocelyne Burkmann and Ali Terzioglu as En guettant la peur, Paris, L'Harmattan, March 2010.