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The Well of Trapped Words

by Sema Kaygusuz

Talking snakes and otherworldly grandmothers who require spoon-feeding are the stuff of folktales, and unpredictable honorary aunts and local dignitaries driven to extremes by bureaucracy and modernity are hallmarks of a traditional society not coping well with change. Kaygusuz's short stories open windows into Turkish life, brought together by her amazing dreamlike realism.

Extract

According to my grandmother, the snake would come to the end of its story and turn to her and say, 'What we have heard is true, but only those who hear can know', and then, as fast as an arrow- or lighting, or rain, or a river - he would slip across the stone courtyard and into the garden. According to my grandmother, the snake was under a curse. There was nothing more painful than to feel something that no one else could feel, to know something that no one else could know.
Translated by Maureen Freely

Parallels

Merciless Gods by Christos Tsiolkas
Little Black Book of Stories by A S Byatt
 

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