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Perihan Magden

Perihan Magden - foto Muhsin Akgun
Perihan Magden - foto Muhsin Akgun

(Turkey, 1960) was praised by Orhan Pamuk as 'one of the most inventive and outspoken writers of our age'. In June her 1991 debut was published by Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep: The Errand-Boys Murders. A hallucinating tale about a bizarre city where mysterious murders take place. Her second novel, Two Girls (2002), was a best-seller in Turkey and has been made into a film and translated in English. Magden is known in Turkey as a columnist. In 2006 she was charged allegedly for inciting the Turkish population against the army. She was jeered at by an angry mob in court but finally acquitted. This frightful period was an inspiriation for her latest novel Biz Kimden Kaciyorduk Anne (Who Are We Fleeing for, Mother?; 2007), describing the mortal fear of a woman and her daughter.


Archive available for: Perihan Magden

  • Winternachten 2009

    Winternachten in Tropentheater: Counter Talk - literature from the Turkish region

    With: Funda Müjde, Gündüz Vassaf, Kamran Nazirli, Margreet Dorleijn, Nese Yasin, Perihan Magden, Selim Temo

    On Sunday afternoon, Tegenspraak (Counter Talk) a programme in cooperation with Winternachten with literature from the Turkish region, took place in Tropentheater Amsterdam. For a long time there has been a critical tradition in Turkish literature, with writers aiming their grievances at the powers that be. As early as the Ottoman Empire there has been sharp criticism, notably from the poet Tefik Fikret. Fikret shuns the Sultan and all religion. He takes a stand against everything that is regarded as holy and against the glorification of history. For the programme Tegenspraak: Turkish Controverses five Turkish authors were invited, all of them writing in the critical literary tradition of Fikret, authors who in their literary work and in columns deal with politics and society.
    The writers treated the audience on their literary current affairs. The programme was hosted by Margreet Dorleijn and Funda Müjde. See

  • Winternachten 2009

    How to Bluff your Way into Turkish Literature

    With: Funda Müjde, Gündüz Vassaf, Kamran Nazirli, Margreet Dorleijn, Nese Yasin, Perihan Magden, Selim Temo

    In the crash course 'How to Bluff Your Way into Turkish Literature' the richness of Turkish language and literature was presented. No fewer than five writers had been invited by Winternachten: three writers from Turkey, a Turkish poet from the Greek part of Cyprus, and a writer from Azerbaijan (Azeri is a Turkish language).
    The diversity of the guests should have been a sign of the complexity of the subject: Turkish is not only spoken in Turkey and the country itself knows several different languages. In Turkey, literature is still used for activistic and emancipatory goals contrary to contemporary Dutch literature.
    In presenting fragments of their own work, the social context of the work clearly stands out: corruption, the influential role of the militairy apparatus, the problems of poor communities and the difficult access to good education for these groups. By the end of the afternoon, it's clear that Turkish literature indeed consists of much more then the work of Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk. Turkish literature proves to be broad and vivid, consisting of socially concerned writers.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten vrijdagavond

    The Fake Nation

    Three writers on national identity and nationalism and how to write in opposition to it. In an essay Margriet de Moor wrote about 'a tawdry belief in the private myth ' of 'openness, tolerance and freethinking'. The Turkish writer and columnist Perihan Magden with her selfwilled language use ridicules the powers that be, such as the army, hoping to contribute to a further democratisation of her country. José Eduardo Agualusa in his work plays a sublime game with reality and fiction and so creates a new image of his native land Angola. His novel My Father's Women was launched duringWinternachten. Host: Pieter van den Blink.