Serenade for Nadia
In the enigmatic novel Serenade for Nadia, Maya Duran feels as miserable as Istanbul's February weather, with its "cruel cold winds... bringing rain that lasts for weeks." She's bored with her job, worries about her son who's addicted to computer games, and dates a man who talks only about the stock market. When she's sent to meet an elderly foreign professor at the airport, what begins as a routine task becomes an unsettling mystery. Why is Professor Wagner followed wherever he goes? Why does he insist on traveling to the coast, carrying a violin and a floral wreath with a card that says "To Nadia"? Why are Maya's job and reputation jeopardized after she saves the professor's life?
Within the absorbing narrative of Maya's life is a separate novel, one based upon historical fact. In 1942, a cattle boat, packed with almost 800 Jewish refugees who paid small fortunes to be taken from Europe to the safety of Palestine, mysteriously sank off the coast of Turkey, with only one survivor. As Maya discovers the secret that haunts Professor Wagner, his personal tragedy becomes intertwined with her own history and destiny.
Celebrated author Zülfü Livaneli brilliantly reveals the realities of modern Turkish life while unfolding the unforgettable story of two people who are separated by generations but become linked by Turkey's complex, blood-soaked past. --Janet Brown, author and former bookseller