Shakespeare’s Little Sister


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Fatma Durmush

ISBN: 978-1-84991-050-7
Published: 2009
Pages: 319
Key Themes: poetry, women, femininity


Is about a woman’s circumstances when she loses everything. She loses her husband and her job, her sanity her house. She is also raped but she is such a person that no one cares about.

Helicopters is the metaphor for men, so without going into it because I don’t want to spoil the pleasure. It is me and what I became all those years ago and now.

It is also about books.

About the Author

Durmush was born in 1959. She always wanted to go to school. When about three years old she would scream to be able to and her elders were merely amused and thought she would get straight A’s when she did.

Soon after they emigrated to Britain and she went to school when she was 7 years old. Durmush did not know the English language and because of this she became an outsider. Always looking at the world sideways.

Her mother was seriously ill and Durmush was placed into care where she learnt English. Before she learnt English she was in a deaf school. Everyone thought she had been deaf because she was unable to speak the language.

Every night she would cry for her family. The sheets smelt of saliva and Durmush would gain comfort in that someone else had cried too. Someone like her and this would make her sleep.

In her last year of primary school she could at last read, the first little book was Aesop’s fables about the mouse and the lion. Mr. Brown her teacher asked what it was about in front of the whole class and Durmush excitedly told him. Mr. Brown looked relieved and so was Durmush she did not want to be shown up as stupid in front of the whole class.

Book Extract

Since a helicopter
crashed in my garden,
I have changed,
there’s a lot of throttling,
aircraft splutters,
falls with a bang into the rosebush.
Two men
come out, looking very burnt, ashen,

bemused, embarrassed,
“What the hell are you doing there?”
“Crashed,” mumbles one of the men.
“What?” I scream,
Rush to kitchen,

Take rolling pin,
Close door,
Walk path,
hit fighter with it.

I’d been working
on the house
all day.
Extreme agitation,
no progress because of that.
In my garden
I’m dismayed
Now I’ve no
only a jump jet which I detest.

The copter is still there,
No matter
I pull curtains

it’ll be there
until the men come, take it away.

cleaning, dusting, scrubbing, polishing,
used bleach on Telly.
Telly has to go.
Go where?
To charity.
It’s not plasma,
its not
what I’d envy my neighbours.

A thief
not be seen dead with a Telly like ours.
It’s not expensive enough to steal.


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