"One of Turkey's most interesting modern writers."--Booklist
When the Emperor of Byzantium orders the destruction of all religious paintings and icons, Constantinople is thrown into crisis. Fear grips the monastery where Andronikos, a young monk, is thrown into a spiritual crisis. Amidst stirrings of resistance he decides to escape, leaving behind his beloved Ioakim, who must confront his own crisis of faith and decide where to place his allegiance. The dualities of dogma and faith, individual and society, East and West, are embodied in a story of prohibited love and devotion to the unseen.
Bilge Karasu (1930-1995) was born in Istanbul. Often referred to as "the sage of Turkish literature," during his lifetime he published collections of stories, novels and two books of essays.
"The 'other' is usually construed as a person or society removed from 'us' by space. But Karasu has chosen to study his 'other' across the divide of time, pushing readers to compare the profound identity crises engulfing individuals in ancient Byzantium to those in the early Turkish Republic. In doing so, Karasu shows the futility of separating ourselves from 'others'--and the social upheaval that results when we do."--Time Out Istanbul
From 8th century Constantinople to Istanbul in 1960, Karasu’s words travel the temporal distance like a flock of storks, flying to a horizon where history intersects with faith, religious and political, and where memory looks and finds meaning. Only a master can choreograph such a difficult journey . . . and Karasu is one. This is a fascinating novel and a pleasure to read.” -- Sinan Antoon, author of I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody