A Long Day's Evening
Translated by Aron Aji, Fred Stark
Hurriyet Daily News
" . . . A Long Day's Evening powerfully illustrates that the tension between the personal spirit and the public imperative is a timeless one. . . . emotionally engaging and intellectually satisfying."
The American Reader
"One might be tempted to read the story of Andronikos and Ioakim as an allegory for the traumas engendered by emerging political identities. In fact, though the reader is asked to sympathize with the weak and idealistic, caught up in struggles waged from above, Karasu's own words betray (perhaps inevitably) an acquiescence to power, whose attempts at 'purity' can shape not just the political domain but also the language with which one encounters the world at large."
"The 'other' is usually construed as a person or society removed from 'us' by space. But Karasu has chosen to study his ‘other’ across the divide of time, pushing readers to compare the profound identity crises engulfing individuals in ancient Byzantium to those in the early Turkish Republic. In doing so, Karasu shows the futility of separating ourselves from ‘others’ – and the social upheaval that results when we do."
"Bilge Karasu, nearly a generation older than Orhan Pamuk and closer in age to Yashir Kemal, seems in retrospect to be emerging as one of the more interesting Turkish writers of the second half of the twentieth century."- Metamorphoses
Gay & Lesbian Review
"This unusual novel tells the story of two Byzantine monks during the controversy over icons. . . . gives a vivid glimpse into a little-known period gripped by religious controversy."
—Gay & Lesbian Review
"City Lights has published their second Bilge Karasu novel, A Long Day's Evening, translated by Aron Aji with Fred Stark. The novel, according to translator Aji’s preface, 'is one of those rare works that alter a nation’s literature.' Karasu, a translator himself, introduced his own peculiar experimentalism to Turkish literature by, for example, not using the conjunction "ve" [and] in the original, superficially because of his stalwart rejection of any vocabulary borrowed from other languages--"ve" comes from Arabic--and, on a deeper level, Aji suggests, because 'the gesture carries an existential significance as well.' The novel recounts the personal consequence of Leo III’s outlawing of all religious paintings and icons on monk Andronikos in the 8th century before ending with a semi-autobiographical short story set in 1960s Istanbul."