Anyone who’s traveled in the vast open spaces of Central Asia has heard it, or seen it plastered on roadside monuments punctuating long stretches of highway: Ak Jol in Kazakh and Kyrgyz and Oq Yol in Uzbek. “White Road.” It means something like “safe journey” or “have a good trip.”
A walk through an Istanbul airport bookstore might lead an unsuspecting traveller to think that English-language literary works from Turkey begin and end with the novels of Nobel-Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk. In reality, a diverse range of Turkish writers now garners a growing amount of press time in English.
Sometimes it seems as if relations between Turks and Armenians can never improve. Hence, it comes as considerable relief to read Family of Shadows and Deep Mountain. These two works, in different ways, are about change and redemption.