A shy young man leaves his home in rural Turkey to learn a trade and discover life in 1920s Berlin. There, amidst the city’s bustling streets, elegant museums, passionate politics, and infamous cabarets, a chance meeting with a beautiful half-Jewish artist transforms him forever. Caught between his desire for freedom from tradition and his yearning to belong, he struggles to hold on to the new life he has found with the woman he loves.
Emotionally powerful, intensely atmospheric, and touchingly profound, Madonna in a Fur Coat is an unforgettable novel about new beginnings, the relentless pull of family ties, and the unfathomable nature of the human soul. First published in 1943, this novel, with its quiet yet insistent defiance of social norms, has been topping best-seller lists in Turkey since 2013.
“A poignant coming-of-age tale, drenched in disillusionment. The gap between hope and reality, art and ordinary life, has been explored in many other novels, but rarely with the unaffected simplicity of Madonna in a Fur Coat …The translation by Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe is crisp, capturing Ali’s directness and clarity of language.” —William Armstrong, Times Literary Supplement
“Offsets inter-war Berlin’s decadent dazzle with bouts of shade, murk, and melancholy…recreates a vanished era and dramatizes a doomed relationship, and does so with verve, depth, and poignancy. The result is a miniature masterpiece.” —Malcolm Forbes, The National
“A gorgeously melancholic romance…a cautionary tale certain to beguile.” —Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
“Its prose sparkles with the friction between Eastern conservatism and Western decadence. This is above all a tale of young love and disenchantment, of missed opportunities and passion’s elusive, flickering flame… a little reminiscent of Turgenev’s First Love, with a hero every bit as gauche, and a twist every bit as bitter.” —Toby Lichtig, Financial Times
“Exquisitely translated, perfectly captures the style and rhythm of this gripping love story.” —Selçuk Altun, internationally bestselling author of The Sultan of Byzantium