The Last Bookstore is pleased to present Ece Temelkuran and her recent novel The Time of Mute Swans. Join us to book launch and discussion with Ece Temelkuran. Moderated by Asli Ü. Bâli, Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Faculty Director of the UCLA Law Promise Institute for Human Rights, and Director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies.
Ankara, the capital city in the heart of Turkey at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, East and West, is a hotspot in the Cold War, torn between communism and conservatism, Western freedoms and traditional ways, with an army fearful of democracy and a government that employs thugs and torture to enforce law and order. In the summer of 1980, tensions are building. Homes of the poor are being burnt down. Armed revolutionaries on college campuses battle right-wings militias in the city’s neighborhoods. The lines between good and bad, right and wrong, and beautiful and ugly are blurred by shed blood.
Two children, one from a family living in misery and one well-off, form an alliance amid the turmoil. Through their senses, the cityscape unfolds its wonders, its rich smells and colors, as they try to make sense of the events swirling around them. And they hatch a plan. For the first time in generations, mute swans have migrated from Russia to the Black Sea and to a park at the center of Ankara. For the generals, they are an affirmation, and their wings must be broken so they can’t fly away. But if the children can save one swan, won’t they have saved the freedom of all?
Ece Temelkuran, one of Turkey’s best-known novelists and political commentators, discusses her “vividly evoked” (The New Yorker) novel, The Time of Mute Swans, which explores politics in the 1970s through the eyes of two children in Ankara, with Molly Crabapple, journalist and co-author, with Marwan Hisham, of Brothers of the Gun, a memoir of the Syrian war by a young man finding his voice as a journalist. Temelkuran and Crabapple will discuss the allure and curious contemporary absence of utopian visions, and the potential implications of what it means to come of age in a world on fire.
Please note that our store has limited capacity (a mere 300!), so get here early.
Those wishing to get books signed will be asked to purchase a copy of the author’s title from The Last Bookstore. Any outside books must be checked with security upon entering the store. This policy applies to all Last Bookstore events unless otherwise noted. Save your receipt; it will be checked when you enter the signing line.