Stories that shape our lives

“I started writing fiction in English. I’m not an immigrant, refugee or exile — they ask me why I do this — but the commute between languages gives me the chance to recreate myself. I love writing in Turkish, which to me is very poetic and very emotional, and I love writing in English, which to me is very mathematical and cerebral. So I feel connected to each language in a different way. For me, like millions of other people around the world today, English is an acquired language. When you’re a latecomer to a language, what happens is you live there with a continuous and perpetual frustration. As latecomers, we always want to say more, you know, crack better jokes, say better things, but we end up saying less because there’s a gap between the mind and the tongue. And that gap is very intimidating. But if we manage not to be frightened by it, it’s also stimulating. And this is what I discovered in Boston – that frustration was very stimulating.”