Ece Temelkuran wins Scottish book award
Turkish author Ece Temelkuran has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award for her first novel translated into English, “Women Who Blow on Knots,” the story of four women on a journey from Tunisia to Lebanon.
All 50 debut novels and short story collections for adults and young adults featured in the book festival public program this year were eligible for the award, which is voted by readers and visitors of the festival.
One of Turkey’s best-known novelists and political commentators, Temelkuran has been a regular guest on BBC Radio 4 and has also appeared on Channel 4 News, while her journalistic works have been featured in Der Spiegel, the Guardian and the New York Times. She currently lives in Zagreb.
“Women Who Blow on Knots,” Temelkuran’s second novel and first to be translated into English, has sold over 120,000 copies. Full of political rhetoric and strong, atypically Muslim female characters, Temelkuran has woven an empowering tale that challenges the social perceptions of politics, religion and women in the Middle East as well as the universal bonds of sister and motherhood.
“Women Who Blow on Knots is a perfect winner for this year’s First Book Award. It’s a funny, pacey and above all life-affirming road movie of a novel which celebrates strength and sisterhood among a group of Arab women at the height of the Arab Spring uprisings. Temelkuran is not only a great novelist: she’s a fearless journalist whose writing about Turkey and its neighboring countries deserves to be read widely across the world,” said the book festival’s director, Nick Barley.