Two Girls by Perihan Magden

Two Girls by Perihan Magden (first published in Turkish in 2002 by Everest Yayinlari; translated into English by Brendan Freely and published in 2005 by Serpent’s Tail, London) has been made into a movie directed by Kutlug Ataman, screenplay by Magden and Ataman. The character of Behiye, the young woman who falls in love with Handan, daughter of a prostitute, offers a strong narrative of a troubled mind — creative and violent. The translation indicates that Magden’s novel accomplishes a psychological virtuoso of a character bereft of love, a character who becomes chained to the first object of her love, whom she calls her “The Feeling You’ll Be Rescued,” a state of peace she experiences even before she meets Handan. Juxtaposed to this love-obsession story are scenes of discovered corpses, men and young boys who have been murdered. The two strands never cross, overtly. I’m still not sure what I think of the book. But I couldn’t put it down.

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