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by Yasmine Ghata

Translated by Andrew Brown

It's 1923, and the young Rikkat is being brought up in the belief that her entire life will be the devoted to the art of calligraphy. That same year, Ataturk's republic breaks away from the venerable Islamic tradition and progressively abolishes the Arabic language and scripts in favour of a modified version of the Latin alphabet. Once the sacred ministers of Allah and Sultans, calligraphers are now being marginalised and their schools closed. The resulting suicide of Rikkat's mentor can only reinforce her spite for the new regime and her love for the ancient art she has been taught since her childhood. Inspired by the life of the author's grandmother, 'The Calligraphers' Night' is a breathtaking excursion into the mysteries of life, time, death, and writing as an art.

Publication date: 09/11/2006

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