BLOG TOUR REVIEWS

Here are the reviews from the brilliant book bloggers who read my English debut The Silence of Scheherazade! I am sending you a all my gratitude from the bottom of my heart!

Dorota Galeza – http://dorotagaleza.co.uk/the-silence-of-scheherazade-by-defne-suman-is-a-fantastic-novel/

‘The Silence of Scheherazade’ is literary fiction at its best.

Blotted Ink Books – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSpCkiJIYDu/

‘The City of Smyrna is captured beautifully within its pages, the story weaving its way through time’

Laura Patricia Rose – http://www.laurapatriciarose.co.uk/2021/08/book-review-silence-of-scheherazade-by.html#.YRqQ_4hKguV

‘The writing and descriptions were simply impeccable.’

 ‘A beautiful and breathtaking read. This is a must read for historical fiction fans.’

The Thoughts of a Bibliophile – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSqyeycrskQ/ (1,650 Instagram followers)

http://thethoughtsofabibliophile.simplesite.com/449958850

‘I was submerged into the culturally rich and atmospheric city of Smyrna from the offset. This is an epic saga abundant in history and infused with love, loss and despair as each character is brought to life… Defne Suman is a true storyteller as each page, each sentence flowed with perfection making it difficult to put down.’

https://ramblingmads.com/2021/08/18/blog-tour-the-silence-of-scherazade-defne-suman/

‘Beautifully written and translated, this is a moving and richly evocative story’

My Dark Bibliophile

https://www.instagram.com/p/CSuqjHnrZKW/‘An immersive and important piece of translated historical fiction that I’m glad to have experienced.’

Nightfall Mysteries – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSwquEQIfim/

‘I fell in love with the Suman’s marvellous, evocative writing.’

‘The cultural background was a massive YES for me. I felt I could almost smell and see certain passages of this novel or even listen to the busy and the overcrowded streets here.’

Frenzy Reads – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSwtjWxoX6l/

‘In a cast of characters, the most standout for me was the historical figure of the city of Smyrna. She acts as a source of strength, beauty, and truth – a home and refuge for so many. ‘

Shelf Lyfe – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSyacVugRBF/?utm_medium=copy_link

I’d recommend The Silence of Scheherazade to fans of historical fiction, as it is an interesting and beautifully told story. (More from Shelf Lyfe)

NoBooksGiven – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSy5RxagYy1/

‘Suman’s writing is complex and beautiful’

Passports and Paperbacks – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSza_egLVm0/

‘Defne writes in such a beautiful, lyrical fashion that instantly draws me into the plot. Every sight, sound and smell is so easy to conjure in my mind which makes this book a dream to read. I adore the amount of detail that has been added to bring these characters to life – they’re all complex and whole, it’s hard not to believe that they existed!’

Mylittlebookhome – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS1NfnTLi6M/

Littleliterarylife – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS1Ac19gUVC/

‘Throughout the novel there is an underlying tension – as the reader you know what is coming, yet when the devastating tragedy arrives it’s written so powerfully that there are moments that genuinely take your breath away. But there are also real moments of beauty, like the epilogue which tied everything off perfectly for me.’

Jodie_reads_books – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS4wOHRAPyt/

Gee.booksandlife – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS4Huj1ABV9/

It explores so many important themes and really dives into the relationships and loyalty between the families. I’d recommend this if it intrigues you! ⠀

Wxrldwalker – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS47uFaLoLs/

 ‘this is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.’

‘There is something so unique about the way that history is told through the pages, that made this to be a very compelling read. During some chapters I had to stop and take a breath because there was so much beauty delivered only through a few words that blew my mind.’

Leyla’s Blog – https://leylasblog4.wordpress.com/2021/08/23/book-review-for-blog-tour-the-silence-of-scheherazade-by-defne-suman/ 

‘Suman is a wonderful storyteller and plot crafter.’

NikNakReads – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS6lxsMADJY/

‘I was gripped with curiosity about this cast of compelling characters and this story of grand scale, all set at the heart of the Ottoman empire. Suman tells this epic with languishing, exquisite, stark, tragic and careful details.

Books and Lovely Things – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS64t-JoLz_/

‘I was blown away by the lush atmospheric writing and the beautiful prose.’

Annies Book Thoughts – https://www.instagram.com/p/CS8kWAID0fh/ (

‘This is one of the most heartbreaking, poetic family sagas I’ve ever read.’

Wildflower Library – http://wildflowerlibrary.net/?ltclid=796abfef-08df-4349-a5dd-1af422eaf304

‘The Silence of Scheherazade is a wonderfully crafted and hard-hitting read that’s most definitely one to look out for for fans of historical fiction and the nature of storytelling. Highly recommended!’

E. F. Paterson – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTASsXtIdCH/

‘I must say that while I’ve not read the original text of this story, I think the translation of this book has been done brilliantly as you really can’t tell that it’s transitioned from another language. The prose and dialogue flow naturally…’

Livs Little Reads –  https://www.instagram.com/p/CTB4nbYLR8C/

‘The Silence of Scheherazade is a beautifully and poetically written novel.’

Sharon Choe Writes – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTCMmtpgxFm/

‘breathtaking in scope, style, & content.‘

Tilly Loves Books – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTChpYuIAuI/

‘this was a beautiful, sweeping novel which devastated me but also moved me’

Agirlandabook85 – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTBxFragld6/

‘it was immersive story telling at its finest.’

Lisa.Loves.Literature – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTEwaEDLYXd/

‘This is a beautiful but deeply moving account of one of history’s tragic moments. Sweeping, epic and thought-provoking; it is a book to be savoured.’

Twisted In Pages – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTHbGvxAM6W/

‘It is beautifully written, culturally rich and it has a gorgeous poetic writing style. The book has its own unique atmosphere which is evident from the very first page.’

Olivianess_books – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTH8I4qjo5d/

To.read.or.to.roam – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTJ8rvUrhhG/

‘I devoured this book and found myself utterly lost to the tantalising descriptions of the exotic surroundings.’

Inoirita – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTKVBx2hubE/ (

‘This novel is like an amalgamation of people from different cultures and the result is astoundingly beautiful.’

Pageturnersnook – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTMx7cAjEsB/

‘Breathtaking, historical, emotional, delicate, educational, engaging, dark and complex but beautifully written and just altogether a pure genius of a masterpiece and that’s just a few descriptive words I can give to you.’

Venusinbooks – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTPUMRcI-AA/

‘I got very emotional reading about such an important time in history that seems to be forgotten.’

A Beautiful Review for “The Silence of Scheherazade”

This review was too beautiful to be left in social media so i wanted to make it immortal here!

Thanks a million to Hayley (shelflyfe) for putting her heart out there. Here is how it goes:

https://www.instagram.com/shelflyfe/

Today is my stop on the blogtour for 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗦𝗜𝗟𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘 𝗢𝗙 𝗦𝗖𝗛𝗘𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗔𝗭𝗔𝗗𝗘 by Defne Suman. Thank you to Jade at House of Zeus for having me along on the tour, and for sending me a proof copy of the book.

𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗜 𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘀𝗵𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘁
𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗺𝘆 𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘇𝗮𝗱𝗲.
𝗢𝗻𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗺𝘆 𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵
𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝘆 𝘀𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲
𝗛𝗮𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲.

The Silence of Scheherazade tells the story of four families – a Levantine, a Greek, A Turkish, and an Armenian family – in the ancient city of Smyrna, in the wake of World War 1.

𝗔 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲. 𝗗𝗼𝘇𝗲𝗻𝘀, 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀. 𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗺𝗲, 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘂𝗽 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀, 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀.The story opens in September 1905, at a moment that impacts all four families, and sets them on a trajectory, sealing their fate:
Scheherazade is born, from a Mother who is high on opium, and at the same time an Indian spy arrives, sent on a secret mission by the British Empire – not that he seems to be a very good spy!

𝗜𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿.
𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗦𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿.
𝗜𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲, 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗻, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆’𝘀 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀, 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘀, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗶𝗻𝘆 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗰𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗰-𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗿𝗼𝗼𝗳𝘀 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗹𝗱. 𝗦𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝘃𝗼𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗹𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗿𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿.

The story itself is a great historical fiction tale, and it is clear that Suman has put a lot of research and passion into The Silence of Scheherazade.I especially liked the depiction of the family units, and the culture and customs that surround them. I always love hearing and learning about other customs, and this really added to the characterisation and immersion for me. It made the families seem very real.

𝗗𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵, 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗴𝘂𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗱𝗼𝗼𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝘀𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀’ 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗹𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗻’𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗶𝗻, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗲? 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗵𝗼𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗞𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗮 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗠𝗮𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗶 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝘂𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘂𝗻𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗻𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗳 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀.

The scenery and settings are also beautifully portrayed by Suman, and give a real sense of time and place.
The atmosphere that these descriptions add feels tangible, and really contributes to the reader’s engrossment in the story.𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝘂𝗴𝗴𝘆 𝗽𝗼𝗼𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗯𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗴𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗴𝘂𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗸. 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝘆 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘂𝗱𝘀, 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗹𝗼𝗮𝗱𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗮, 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗰𝘂𝗱𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀, 𝗯𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻 𝘂𝗻𝘂𝘀𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁.

The tension and heightened anxiety of a city and community on the cusp of World War 1 are well captured by Suman.
There is a sense that there is turmoil throughout Smyrna, but also further abroad, and that some big changes are coming.
This sentiment feels like it is forever present, as there is still discontent the world over, from both the young and the old.𝗜𝘁 𝗶𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗳𝗶𝗿𝗲, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱. 𝗦𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲. 𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲, 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗲’𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻.

Scheherazade herself is a very interesting character. She is a mute, and grows up as a witness to the grief, death and destruction that is enacted on her city.
In a similar way to her namesake (the narrator of One Thousand and One Nights), she presents her story to us, so that we too can bear witness to the destruction of her city.

𝗔𝗵, 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝘂𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲. 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗰𝗿𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲. 𝗟𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗢𝘁𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗮𝗻 𝗘𝗺𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗲.I’d recommend The Silence of Scheherazade to fans of historical fiction, as it is an interesting and beautifully told story.

Book Launch Event!

This is a very meaningful and a happy event for me. We are celebration the launch of my first English book “The Silence of Scheherazade” with an online event organized by one and only Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon. (one of my hometown).

Maureen Freely, an author and translator that i admire very much will be chatting with me about the book. Oh what an honor!

Please join us. It means a lot to me seeing your faces on this BIG event!

Thanks!

For registering please follow the link:


https://www.powells.com/events-update
https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/4016279249652/WN_DsqllM00T0eyNkk4rmvrxw

It is Publication Day!

http://www.defnesuman.com

Publishing Day Speech

Today is the big day! My English debut novel The Silence of Scheherazade is out in the UK (in a month time it will be available in the US) and I have so much to say for this huge step in my life.

I started writing The Silence of Scheherazade exactly seven years ago after a traumatic miscarriage. Even though doctors and dear friends kept telling me that I was still young and could get pregnant again, deep down I knew I was not going to. So, I poured all my creative energy into my writing, into writing The Silence of Scheherazade. No wonder the story opens with a birth scene! Not just any birth but the birth of our narrator, of Scheherazade. She is not just any narrator but THE narrator of the tales, she is the one who should continue telling stories in order to stay alive. For those of who grew up in the Mediterranean coast and in the Middle East she is a familiar voice, the Scheherazade of the 1001 Nights.

My Scheherazade however is a mute one. Thus, the title The Silence of Scheherazade. In my post miscarriage days of grief I wanted to give voice to those whose history was silenced by politics, governments and by the ones who hold the positions of power such as official history makers. I wanted to tell the story of the women and children of Smyrna in 1922. To break the silence of HIStory.

Both Turkish and Greek history books talk about what happened in September 1922. The narratives of the ones who had won the war and the ones who lost it weave the two opposing ends of the same history but neither tells a story but just his-story. Women of Smyrna in September 1922, regardless of their religion or ethnicity, Greeks, Armenians, Levantines and Turks all lost their beautiful town to the flames. After burning one week continuously, once the Great Fire of Smyrna was finally put down, what was left was just the ruins and the ghost of a once rich, joyful, cosmopolitan city.

I dedicated this book to those who have been exiled from their homeland. I put Greek poet Seferis’ poem Jasmine on the first page knowing that Seferis was a refugee from Smyrna himself.

The Silence of Scheherazade is a story of losing home. I find it auspiciously meaningful that the release date of its English debut coincides with these very days of history when the refugee crisis in the world is at its peak. As my book is about to reach its global readers everywhere on the planet, people are being uprooted from their homeland and forced to move to foreign places away from home.

The refugee crises that we are facing today have started late 19th century, continued throughout the 20th century, and is now peaking in the first quarter of the 21st century. My grandparents from both sides were uprooted from their homelands because of war and ethnic cleansing policies of the countries that they had lived and loved as their own once upon a time. They ended up in Turkey and started from the very beginning in a new land where nothing was familiar. They were not necessarily welcome in their new home, and I can easily presume by looking at the way in which refugees are treated in today’s Turkey that in my great grandparents’ time as well there was an expectation for them to return to where they came from once the war was over. Yet there was nowhere to return to.

Having carried these stories of my ancestors in my genes and in my consciousness combined with the loss of a potential life that I carried inside my body led me to formulate the story of The Silence of Scheherazade in such a way that the readers can immerse themselves in Smyrna and get to know the characters as they know some family members or friends. In order to recreate a lost time and space I needed a lot of details. Street names, maps, political climate, newspapers, fashion magazines, diaries as well how it smelled there and what colour was the sky when the sunset and how strong really was the famous Smyrna wind (imbat in Turkish and meltemi in Greek).  Because when you must flee from your hometown, when you are forced to leave your country or if you are kicked out of your land what you are to leave behind is much more than your home and your possessions.   

I hope that when the readers are turning the pages of The Silence of Scheherazade, they realise that they are not only taking a stroll in the past but they are reading a story that is happening right now, right here in the present day world of ours.

 One final word about saving lives: Every day we are seeing thousands of lives in danger. Women and children suffering under the rule of totalitarian regimes, ethnic/ religious minorities under the threat of massacrers, Covid19, animals trapped in the wildfires, fish poisoned by the toxic waste…  It is overwhelming to think of the many lives are being wasted with every second. It is so overwhelming that we might feel the need to shut down and disconnect from the rest of the world. But the other side of the coin is that we can save lives. Maybe not so many but most of us can save a life. One life. It might not make a big change in the world, but as Turkish colonel Hilmi Rahmi says to himself in The Silence of Scheherazade, that life is worth a world to the one who is living it.

I am thrilled that my The Silence of Scheherazade will reach to distant corners of the world and I hope it will help to break the silence and the silenced people one by one.

Special thanks to my publisher Head of Zeus and Kalem Literature Agency, to my lovely translator Betsy Göksel who cried over the pages which she translated because she was so touched by the story, to my Turkish publisher Doğan Kitap, to my Smyrna guru and dear friend George Poulimenos and to all my readers around the globe. If half of this book is written by me, the other half will find life in your imagination.

Defne Suman 19 August 2021

Athens

WELCOME

Podcast with Alex Alexiou on my new novel the Silence of Scheherazade, history, memory and space.

https://embed.acast.com/49aee1b5-e36f-4b98-9661-d5c662269f6f/4469014c-e393-4dcb-b709-2821d5bbb39b

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct1rt8

BBC’s The Art Hour. We are chatting about movies, arts, books and other things

Hello all!

Welcome to my blog “İnsanlık Hâli” which means The Human Condition in Turkish.

Most of entries are in Turkish but as often as i can I am trying to write some English blogs as well. For the English blogs please click here.

If you are curious to know who is writing all this stuff here is a little bit about myself.

I was born in year of 1974 in Istanbul, Turkey. Although I travelled all around the world, I have always ended up in the  the same tall green building where i was born and grew up at the centre of Istanbul.

I went to school in the same neighborhood and then to Boğazici (Bosphorus) University, that is only a few miles from my home.

Until the age of 23 I didn’t do much traveling other than camping in  the wonderful beaches of southwestern Turkey.

I majored in sociology and then completed my MA on the same subject. My graduate thesis which i have completed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Nilufer Gole was titled as “Visions of Morality, Modesty and Modernity: The case of Fadime Sahin.” For my thesis I focused on a sex scandal that took place among the Islamic circles which ended up becoming a big splash in the mass media.

By the year 2000 two major changes took place in my life. One was that I won Green Card (USA) from the lottery, the second was that i decided to leave the academia and travel the world on my own while doing voluntary work. After a brief visit to the USA i started my journey eastbound and traveled to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos and finally Thailand where i found the most amazing two people who were teaching yoga. Beatrix and Pancho were my first teachers in Thailand. They were devoted practitioners of Hatha Yoga, lovers of beauty, simplicity and the Divine. I stayed as close as possible to them for the next three years and under their guidance learned not only the practice of yoga but also Buddhism, Vedic philosophy and studied various Hatha Yoga texts.

On one of my  trips  to USA, in Portland, Oregon I was introduced to Shadow Yoga, a system of Hatha Yoga that was established by Sundernath (Shandor Remete).  With its uncomplicated yet deeply effective movements, its potential for transformation and the vast amount of information on Ayurveda, Marmastana, Vedic philosophy, Shadow school of Hatha Yoga impressed me very much.. As I started to understand the workings of bandhas and the rhythm in the deeper layers of my own body and self, I decided to stay in Portland instead of returning Thailand.  For three years I stayed as an apprentice to my teacher in Portland who was teaching Shadow Yoga at that time and regularly attended the courses and workshops that Sundernath and Emma Balnaves were offering in different parts of the world.

Today I am continuing my studies with my teachers Sundernath and Emma Balnaves and with their permission  teaching the system of Shadow Yoga in Istanbul and in Portland.

Apart from yoga, writing holds an important space in my life. My first book Mavi Orman (Blue Forest- only in Turkish -yet-) was published in 2011. It is a compilation of essays and journal entries of mine during my travels. My second book Saklambac (Hide and Seek- in Turkish) is a mystery novel which reveals the inner dynamics of an upper middle class family in Istanbul. Inevitably , like all first novels Saklambac has an autobiographic quality! My third book the Silence of Scheherazade is a historical fiction which takes place in Smyrna, a cosmopolitan harbor town of Ottoman Empire. Silence of Scheherazade is  published in Greece and in Turkey in March 2016. Later my novels Yaz Sıcağı (Summer Heat), Kahvaltı Sofrası (At the Breakfast Table) and the non-fiction İnsanlık Hali (Human Condition) were published.

The blogs  I write here are not intended to give information about yoga. On the contrary I try to write as little as possible about yoga as i believe one can learn yoga only by studying under a well-established teacher. The blogs here vary from memoirs to short stories, from sociological articles to travel journals. As a young woman who live in Turkey inevitably I am passionate about women’s rights, freedom, justice and democracy. The blog i wrote during the Gezi Park Resistance in 2013  “What is Happening in Istanbul” has reached to millions of readers all around the world and help them to understand the inner dynamics of the social movement in Turkey.

Here,my hope is to explore the “human condition” and the life.  Beyond and above our local identities, I believe that there is a common ground in which we understand each other. I believe there is a universal human condition that could be expressed and transferred from one to the other regardless of culture, class, race, religion or time.

Even though most entries tell about ”my” story, through them I intend to explore the Human Condtion in my blogs.

Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you enjoy yourselves…

Defne Suman

June, 2021

Please visit The Silence of Scheherazade, my English debut novel, which will be published in August 2021 in the UK and in September 2021 in the USA and Canada.

For more information about my classes and schedules please go to:

www.defnesumanyoga.com

For more information about my books see:

www.defnesuman.com