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Madonna in a Fur Coat

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You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. However, it is commonly believed that Ali died while being interrogated by the National Security Service, and that Ertekin, with whom the service had links, was chosen to take the blame. Though he carried on working for state institutions, his dissident writings ultimately led to his being removed from his post in 1945. Decades later, when Madonna in a Fur Coat became the sort of book that passed from friend to friend, the literary establishment continued to ignore it.

Alexander Dawe has translated several works from French and Turkish including the short stories of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar and Sait Faik. Emotionally powerful, intensely atmospheric and touchingly profound, Madonna in a Fur Coat is an unforgettable novel about new beginnings and the unfathomable nature of the human soul. The city's crowded streets, thriving arts scene, passionate politics and seedy cabarets provide the backdrop for a chance meeting with a woman, which will haunt him for the rest of his life. The contents of the bag he had with him survive in a photograph that appeared in a national newspaper in January 1949, and again in the last pages of the memoir that his daughter, Filiz Ali, published in 1995. The book tells the story of Raif, who is living a purposeless life until he meets a woman named Maria Puder.One evening, he wanders into an exhibition of contemporary art to be mesmerised by a portrait of a Madonna in a fur coat. The story is told by a colleague who barely knows Raif, and that too adds a cold irony to the storytelling. Ten years later, an old acquaintance of Raif from Berlin, who is also a relative of Maria, meets Raif in Ankara, with a child beside her.

Madonna in a Fur Coat is a beautiful gender role flipped tragic romance about a woman who says she's 'like a man' and the soft, emotional man who adores her.

There he finds a sick Maria, who is finally convinced that Raif is not like any other man and actually is in love with her. At this point, we have an elegiac flashback told in Raif's own words: sadness, pain and longing infuse this tale of a seemingly soulless man. Here he meets the sickly, affectless Raif Bey, who is, we’re told, “the sort of man who causes us to ask ourselves: “What do they live for? Sometime later, Raif sees a woman in a fur coat that he quickly recognizes while strolling in the streets of Berlin at night. During the cold war, they were translated into a number of languages in the Soviet bloc, and they are still much read in Bulgaria.

Only a few years have passed since Turkey and Germany fought together on the losing side in the first world war, so he is warmly received by the pension’s other residents. Raif accompanies a drunk Maria to her home, takes care of her and in the morning, they wake up next to each other. It’s also a story about living in a prejudiced society which rewards certain egoistic behavioural patterns and humiliates the ones who do not conform to its norms and want to live according to their values of compassion, equality and kindness.Sabahattin Ali (1907-1948) was born in the Ottoman town of Egridere (now Ardino in southern Bulgaria). His least acclaimed novel has become Turkey’s most celebrated love story today because it refuses the traditional gender roles that Turkey’s president seems hell-bent on enforcing, not just in the religious heartlands but also in the cities and towns that have been secularising, and liberalising, for almost a century. Mocked by shallow juniors at work and derided by many members of his family, he barely seems to exist. Was it Raif's peculiarities that made me feel seen, or Maria's reluctance to believe in the possibility of companionship? Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.

In the realm of books, there are some that I'd shout from the rooftops for everyone to read, and then there are the ones I clutch close to my heart, gatekeep them selfishly, just for myself. In Turkey, meanwhile, Ali’s death continues to overshadow his life, in much the same way as his life overshadows his work – and with good reason. But with this book in their hands, they can see that a story that is true to itself, and honest about love, can travel through walls. Publication dates are subject to change (although this is an extremely uncommon occurrence overall).Sabahattin Ali's daughter, Filiz Ali, in an interview with BBC, has stated that she found Maria was inspired by a real life acquaintance of Sabahattin.

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