by Hasan Ali Toptaş

Paperback. 320 pages.
ISBN-10: 1408850893
ISBN-13: 978-1408850893

Hasan Ali Toptaş exquisitely weaves an enigmatic, mystical tale of memory and identity, displacement and belonging

“I’m a barber,” he said. “I come from afar. Across lands already forgotten…”

In an Anatolian village forgotten both by God and the government, the muhtar has been elected leader for the sixteenth successive year. When he staggers to bed that night, drunk on raki and his own well-deserved success, the village is prosperous. But when he is woken by his wife the next evening he discovers that Nuri, the barber, has disappeared without a trace in the dead of night, and the community begins to fracture.

In a nameless town far, far away, Nuri walks into a barbershop as if from a dream, not knowing how he has arrived. Try as he might, he cannot grasp the strands of his memory. The facts of his past life shift and evade him, and as other customers come and go, they too struggle to recall how they got there…

Blurring the lines of reality to terrific effect, Shadowless is both a compelling mystery and an enduring evocation of displacement from one of the finest, most exciting voices in Turkish literature today.

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About the author

Hasan Ali Toptaş is a prominent Turkish novelist and short story writer. His first short story book Bir Gülüşün Kimliği (The Identity of A Laugh) was published in 1987. An important Turkish scholar, Yıldız Ecevit nicknames him “a postmodern modernist” and calls him “a Kafka in Turkish literature”, in her work Türk Romanında Postmodernist Açılımlar (The Postmodernist Expansion in Turkish Literature). In fact, Hasan Ali Toptaş’s 1999 Cevdet Kudret Literature Award winner Bin Hüzünlü Haz is, on the one hand, a postmodern novella in terms of pluralism, metafiction and intertextuality. On the other hand, it contains a lot of kafkaesque elements in terms of depicting an absurd, surreal and paradoxically mundane reality. – Wikipedia

Read an English interview with the writer about Shadowless and more on