AmazonCrossing is a program that brings books published in other languages to American audiences. Escape is translated from the Turkish.
Author Perihan Mağden lives in Istanbul, where she is well-known not only for her fiction, but also for writing controversial editorial newspaper columns which get her into trouble. An interview about another of her novels published by AmazonCrossing, Ali and Ramazan, sheds some light on her experiences.
MAGDEN, Perihan. Escape. 196p. AmazonCrossing. 2012. pap. $14.95. ISBN 978-1611091434. LC 2012940671.
Adult/High School– Imagine life without a permanent home- moving every few months, and every move meaning new clothes, toys, books, and necessities because everything is left behind. Escape is the story of Bambi, told as a series of flashbacks about her life on the run with her mother, moving from country to country, hotel to hotel. They never stay long, but while they’re “home,” they transform their rooms with stones and shells and curtains and bedspreads; when they leave, they trust that the hotel staff will return the room to its anonymous state. Bambi is gorgeous, while her mother’s looks are more dependent on her having a good day or a bad one; Bambi is always dressed in bright, pastel colors while her mother is always dressed in black; together, they’re the Moon Unit, just the two of them. Over time, Bambi realizes what her mother’s rages mean and what their consequences are–vague memories of blood, of sharp knives, of having to leave, again, immediately. This is a thought-provoking book about the meaning of “home” (is it a place, or is it being with your family?) and about how far children will go to ignore–and ultimately forgive–what their parents do. The contrast between Bambi’s memories and interviews with hotel staff give readers an appreciation for the differences in perception between those in a situation and those observing from the outside. Recommend for fans of the TV series “Criminal Minds,” Gregory Galloway’s As Simple as Snow (Putnam, 2005), or Patricia Highsmith’s “Ripley” novels.–Laura Pearle, Venn Consultants, Carmel, NY