In the Shadow of the Yali

“The Madame Bovary of Turkish literature…Although the story is, in many ways, universal, Dervis brilliantly captures the particularities of Turkish society and its struggle with modernity. This rare gem is finally available in English thanks to Maureen Freely’s masterful translation.” (The Guardian)

In the Shadow of the Yalı is a rare gem—a romantic character study, a social novel, and a feminist critique on patriarchy and capitalism. Suat Derviş explores the depths of social conditioning, the emptiness of chasing wealth, and the freedoms—imagined or actual—provided by lust and desire.” (Ilana Masad, author of All My Mother’s Lovers)

“Suat Derviş is an important novelist. She suffered a great deal for her political views, and her works were suppressed…In the Shadow of the Yalı is a work of beauty. A painful love story. A novel that examines love from a Marxist perspective. In my opinion, it has no equal in our literature.” (Selim İleri, Orhan Kemal Novel Prize-winning author of Boundless Solitude)

“A captivating tale of a passionate affair with unexpected consequences. The twists and turns of the unfolding narrative keeps you reading to the end—which happens at a most unexpected point.” (Afsaneh Najmabadi, Harvard University)

Set in a changing Istanbul, this rediscovered 1940s classic from a pioneering Turkish author tells the story of a forbidden love and its consequences.

Raised by her grandmother in one of the famed yalıs, elegant yet crumbling, that line the Bosphorus, Celile occupies a unique space between the old world of the Ottoman Empire and the new world of the Republic. She drifts through ten years of marriage, reserved even with her husband, never tempted to stray from the safe path of respectability. And then one night, intoxicated by a soulful tango, she is suddenly seized with a mad passion for another man, whose reckless pursuit of her should offend but doesn’t. Torn between two men who want to possess her, Celile attempts to live a life true to herself, always keenly aware of the limits placed on her as a woman.