Ayshe, An Anatolian Tale


SKU e-book Category

145 in stock


By Fatma Durmush


ISBN: 978-1-84747-029-4
Published: 2006
Pages: 79
Key Themes: schizophrenia, ethnic minorities, Islam, Turkey, female experience


This book started life as a short story in a children’s writing group. ‘Anatolian Tale’ is about the backwaters of Turkey; it is a story of Ayshe growing up in Anatolia and the hardships she endures. Girls in villages in Turkey are not encouraged to read, this is a luxury which their sisters in the cities have so Ayshe rebels. Ayshe rebels to such an extent that she conquers the societal paradigm of cheap and sometimes enforced labour. Ayshe is brave and resourceful, a great charmer. This book teaches the lesson that life is bigger than we are and that life is a gift for us to treasure.

About the Author

Fatma Durmush was born in 1959; after years spent suffering from schizophrenia she has finally achieved her ambition to be gain an art degree and become a renowned artist. She will be going on to study an MA in art this year. As well as an artist and successful author, Fatma is also a play-right. She found a modest niche in America where two of her plays have been performed, one of which will soon be published in an anthology. In the UK she has been published by the Big Issue as well as in books and pamphlets. Her artwork has featured in over sixty exhibitions at, amongst others, the Tate Modern and The National Gallery.

Book Extract

In Anatolia,
there lives Ayshe.
She doesn’t go to school.
More than anything, she wants to.
Weaving carpets has made her eyesight dim.
Weave and stretch,
make and go into patterns,
Ayshe’s clothes are hand-me-downs,
patchy from too much sewing.
Her donkey is her constant companion.
She gives him sugar,
from pockets with too many commitments.
Mrs Sadiye is Ayshe’s mother.
There are ten girls, and one boy.
Ayshe mothers her sisters,
carrying them on her back.
The big pan is where they boil the nappies,
Mrs Sadiye is constantly boiling, cooking.
Her five feet nothing is a source of pride.
A woman shouldn’t be taller than her man.
Every inch on the look out for a child in trouble.
In Muslim Festival of Sacrifice they eat meat.
Which they have to be grateful for.
Eggs they get on a Friday,
From the chickens which go to the neighbours.
Mrs Sadiye has a vegetable patch which ekes out
the subsistence of the evening meal.
When the chickens go next door,
there’s an almighty row.



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