Winner of the John Gardner Fiction Book Award
"Fans of Amy Tan and Carol Shields will revel in the themes of remembrance, forgiveness, family devotion, and forbidden love." —Booklist
Every family has its secrets. But toward the end of his life, George decides to tell his daughter the story of his mother and the Turk. This initial revelation leads to a narrative tour de force that follows a family through four generations and around the world—through love, marriage, and betrayal, through illness, death, and war. Mary Helen Stefaniak's charming and flawed characters and the warmth of her prose will stay with readers long after they close the book.
Reading group guide included.
About the Author
Mary Helen Stefaniak is the prize-winning author of The Turk and My Mother, Self Storage and Other Stories, and The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia. She lives in Omaha and Iowa City.
Evokes a loving nostalgia for a closeness now lost.
— Chicago Tribune
Stefaniak's easy familiarity with the vernacular idioms of the old country and the new, and her respectful, zestful ear for different voices, create a world…at once magical and grounded in reality.
— Publishers Weekly
The Turk and My Mother reinvents the family saga and the art of storytelling as we know it.
— Lan Samantha Chang, author of Inheritance
In this magical book, life and love triumph over loss and pain, and a big new literary talent arrives. For Stefaniak, as for Alice Hoffman, we come to recognize that we are all immigrants in the territory of the human heart, following the thread of love through the labyrinth that takes us home—a journey across continents and history that is hilarious, heart-breaking, and deeply touching.
— Jonis Agee, author of Acts of Love on Indigo Road
The Turk and My Mother sparkles with originality, humor and insight. Mary Helen Stefaniak has a true gift for making the ordinary feel magical and the exotic feel hauntingly familiar. I love this novel!
— Eilzabeth Stuckey-French, author of Mermaids on the Moon