The Memory of Salt by Alice Melike Ülgezer

Reviewed by
October 2012, no. 345

The Memory of Salt by Alice Melike Ülgezer

Reviewed by
October 2012, no. 345

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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