Claudia Hyles reviews 'The Memory of Salt' by Alice Melike Ülgezer

The Memory of Salt

by Alice Melike Ülgezer

Giramondo, $27.95 pb, 304 pp, 9781920882907

Alice Melike Ülgezer’s début novel is both exotic and familiar: a story of journeys, physical and philosophical, of a family with its roots in Istanbul and Melbourne. The first of these is a short ferry crossing of the Bosporus taken by Ali, a young woman (or is she a young man? gender seems immaterial here) from Melbourne who is in Istanbul to visit her father’s family. Her father – variously named Akyut, Ahmet, Ayk, Baba, and Captain Schizophrenia – is present. In the pre-dawn darkness, he is troubled, not an unusual state for him. The wild behaviour of this unstable but magnetic man forms something of a catalogue aria in the book, occasionally amusing but more often horrifyingly violent.

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Published in October 2012 no. 345
Claudia Hyles

Claudia Hyles

Claudia Hyles is a Canberra-based writer and reviewer with a great interest in South Asia. Her most recent book So You Can See In The Dark : And other Indian essays (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2016)

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