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HEARTSICK

March 11th, 2012

Dear readers! Today I bring you the final installment of student writing from my fall workshop at Koç. This piece, by senior literature major Ecem Kızıldağ, went through a particularly dramatic revision. It was originally only the story of Ecem’s kidney-stone-related misadventures. In class, it emerged that we wanted some kind of counterpoint to offset the negative/ comic portrayal of the hospital staff—something perhaps serious, sad, or affectionate. Ecem was like, “OK, I can do sad.” I hope you find her essay as moving as I did.

I’ve always despised hospitals. You know the feeling when your stomach clenches, right? That’s exactly how I feel when I enter hospital doors. The smell of medicine, the painful and tired look on sick peoples’ faces, cries, and moans… all these things terrify me. The worst thing is waiting for doctors to find a cure for you or for someone you care about.

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ROOTS

February 28th, 2012

I’M VERY HAPPY TO BRING YOU ANOTHER PIECE OF STUDENT WRITING FROM LAST TERM’S CLASS AT KOÇ. THE AUTHOR IS HAZAL YUMUKOĞLU, A SENIOR MAJORING IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, AND AN ASPIRING COMEDIAN. THE TITLE IS “A ROOTER: THE ROOTS OF A SENSE OF HUMOR.”

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“Are all cell phones off?”

“Yes.”

“Home phones unplugged?”

“Yes.”

“The door?”

“Locked, as are all communication means.”

“Has ‘she’ been informed?”

“Couple of times. She won’t be in the way, won’t even approach the vicinity between 19.00 and 21.00 pm.”

So far, you expect Bruce Willis to blow up the place.

“Good. Which show is on?”

“Fatmagül.

“Damn! She’s more into The Magnificent Century. What if she gets bored and feels the urge to barge in?”

“Mo–om! Don’t forget, the game is about to start!!”

“Alright, alright I won’t come to the living room… God!”

It sounds like a CIA operation, but it’s just the routine preparation to watch a Galatasaray match in our house. As a huge Galatasaray fan, my father has certain rules while watching a game, which I will discuss later. First, I would like to tell you my first words. “Mom?” “Dad?” “Pee?” No, no and no. They were “Ye-ye-ye, Ya-ya-ya!” This was my best try at repeating the GS anthem after my father.

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IN THE PRESS

February 28th, 2012

Media-savvy readers! I’m really excited to share with you some recent press mentions. The first was in Jennifer B. McDonald’s NYBTR review of The Lifespan of a Fact, a book I keep wondering whether or not to read. On the plus side, it sounds super-interesting (“An innovative essayist and his fact-checker do battle about the use of truth and the definition of nonfiction”). On the minus side, it apparently looks like this:

120213_BOOKS_lifespanFactSCAN

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APOCRYPHAL ANIMALS

February 22nd, 2012

Adventurous readers! Those of you who are in Istanbul this Saturday (Feb 25) are warmly encouraged to attend the first-ever Koç University International Artist-in-Residence Workshop, where I will be appearing in my capacity as a living specimen of the writer-in-residence. Come gape at me between 16:20 and 16:50 in the ANAMED library (Istiklal 181, Taksim), right before “Example of an Artist Residency Program from Göteborg, Sweden.”

I am also super-proud to share with you today my international photography debut, in the forthcoming Czech translation of Dimiter Kenarov’s Apocryphal Animals (a bestseller in its native Bulgarian). I am planning to borrow “Apocryphal Animal” as the title for my talk about being a writer-in-residence.

apocryphal czech

Click on the image to enlarge and admire both my masterful photography, as well as the elusive image of a blue deer shedding tears of blood!

THE GREATEST NIGHT

February 19th, 2012

Another photo essay from last term’s nonfiction class at Koc… this one is an ironic commentary on the form! The author is Jasmin Baruh, a senior majoring in Business Administration.

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THE GREATEST NIGHT

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