Mahir Öztaş

Born in 1951 and one of the original voices of modern Turkish literature, has been publishing poems, short stories, and novels for more than thirty years. He graduated in architecture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, a career that took him to Saudi Arabia, through Europe, Asia, and North Africa. He now devotes his full time to writing. His first book was Unutulmak Tozlari ( "Dust of Forgottenness," 1983), a collection of poems. A book of stories, Ay Gozetleme Komitesi ( "Committee for Moon Watching," 1987) followed, and won the 1988 Sait Faik Short Story Award. His 1989 collection Korku Oyunu ("Game of Fear " ) won the Yunus Nadi Short Story Award, and the novel Soguma ("Cooling Off," 1995) won the novel award from the same foundation. He participated courtesy of the Grace Piercy Fellowship.


NOURISHING A DESIRE (Bir Arzuyu Beslemek)

YKY, 2002

Genre: Novel
Pages: 284

Mahir Öztaş is one of the original voices of contemporary Turkish literature. This is a novel depicting a search: in his first novel The Chill, Öztaş had written about a lost writer and a researcher in his trails; in Nourishing a Desire his main character is an artist who tries to solve a murder. Reminiscent of Thomas Bernhard's style, the narrative takes numerous turns and lights upon cities like Glasgow, San Francisco, and New Orleans, upon Balthus and the art circles in İstanbul, writers and pseudo-writers, loves and fake loves, malevolence and compassian, losers and survivors. The narrator of the novel remembers his past for three days - he had left İstanbul eleven years ago, living for four years in Glasgow and then seven years in New York. His reminiscence takes him back to İstanbul, to his days at the academy of fine arts, his friends and the conversations he had with them, the women and the places he loved, and his friend who was murdered. All these intertwine to lead him to a deeper understanding of himself. Nourishing a Desire is a novel to lose oneself in.

English sample translation available