• Author(s): Emine Sevgi Ozdamar
  • Emine Sevgi Ozdamar
  • Emine Ozdamar.
  • Presents an excerpt from the book `Life Is a Caravanserai, Has Two Doors, I Came in One, I Went Out the Other' by Emine Sevgi Ozdamar.

The Bridge of the Golden Horn

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Emine Sevgi Ozdamar’s first novel, (), published in 1992, earned her the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann prize (1991) for single chapters from the novel. This made her the first author of Turkish origin to win the prize and gained her international recognition as a novelist. In the novel, the unnamed first narrator traces life from childhood and adolescence in Turkey, to moving from one place in Turkey to another as the father searches for employment, and at last to the narrator’s final departure from her family to Germany in order to start a new life. The text is impressionistic, filled with immediacy and sensual narration, but makes no attempt to unify these episodes.

Ozdamar’s work is often partially autobiographical. The train between Germany and Turkey, between Europe and Asia is the landscape, which closely describes the life and the work of Emine Sevgi Ozdamar. In her most autobiographical texts, Ozdamar takes the reader with her on these train journeys between two worlds, where one can experience the complexity of feelings and impressions that come with migration, with moving to a new space, returning to the old, and finding oneself in-between strangeness and familiarity. „Ozdamar has made migration a key conceptual and aesthetic programme in her work“, so the jury states after congratulating Ozdamar on winning the 2001 Nordrhein-Westfalen artist award ().

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Emine Sevgi Ozdamar is a writer, director, and actress of Turkish origin who resides in Germany and has resided there for many years. Ozdamar's art is unique in that it is influenced by her life experiences, which straddle the countries of Germany and Turkey throughout times of turmoil in both. One of her most notable accomplishments is winning the 1991 Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.