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Best known for his crime fiction, Ahmet Ümit is among the most celebrated and prolific writers of contemporary Turkish literature. Yet despite its popularity in Turkey, and increasing recognition abroad, Ümit’s fiction has seldom been subject to scholarly inquiry. Adopting the framework of cultural narratology, Nation and Identity in Turkish Crime Fiction provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of Ahmet Ümit’s crime novels, seeking thereby to fill a gap, and also to widen our understanding of the politics of the Turkish novel by extending the focus of literary and cultural criticism to include the field of contemporary popular literature.
Through a consideration of the transformations and changing dynamics that have marked Turkish culture and politics over the last two decades, Zeynep Tüfekçioğlu conceptualizes Ümit’s fiction as a medium of ideological negotiation. The study unveils the significance of the various narrative techniques, literary tropes and themes found in Ümit’s fiction, which he employs to contest dominant discourses of national identity, history, and cultural memory. Tüfekçioğlu shows that since his early novels, Ahmet Ümit has been following and adopting the global trends in the genre, while also appropriating and subverting them for the purposes of cultural resistance. As such, this book will appeal to scholars of Turkish literary and cultural studies, as well as to scholars and devoted readers of crime fiction.