ISBN-10: 0872868982
ISBN-13: 9780872868984
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 08/15/2023
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 5.20" W, 0.80" H

Published by City Lights


Translator: Aron Aji
Translator: Selin Gökçesu


Price: $11.17


Abandoned by her husband, marooned by an epic snowstorm, a mother gives birth to her third child. Her sense of entrapment turns into a desperate rage in this unblinking portrait of a woman whose powerlessness becomes lethal.

Lojman tells, on its surface, the domestic tale of a Kurdish family living in a small village on a desolate plateau at the foot of the snow-capped mountains of Turkey’s Van province. Virtually every aspect of the family’s life is dictated by the government, from their exile to the country’s remote, easternmost region to their sequestration in the grim “teacher’s lodging”–or lojman–to which they’re assigned. When Selma’s husband walks out one day, he leaves in his wake a storm of resentment between his young children and a mother reluctant to parent them.

Written in startling, raw prose, this novel – the author’s first to be translated into English – is reminiscent of Elena Ferrante’s masterful Days of Abandonment, though its private dramas are made all the more vivid against an imposing natural landscape that exerts a powerful, life-threatening force.

In short, propulsive chapters, Lojman spins a domestic drama crystallized through the family’s mental and physical claustrophobia. Vivid daydreams morph with cold realities, and as the family’s descent reaches its nadir, their world is transformed into a surreal, gelatinous prison from which there is no escape.

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"In transforming this tale of suffocating cabin fever into a gothic horror story and concluding it with great panache, Ojen has showcased her remarkable storytelling skills, which readers in Turkey had discovered and now English readers will be able to sumptuously enjoy."–Kaya Genç, The Markaz Review

"Lojman is a book that shows its teeth. In powerful, unflinching prose of malevolence and confinement, Ebru Ojen depicts the family unit as a condition in which the most abject of cruelties and annihilations are imagined, resulting in an unparalleled portrait of madness and oblivion."–Xiao Yue Shan, Asymptote Book Club

"This is a novel where fraught interpersonal dynamics overlap with an increasingly inhospitable setting, a slow burn that leads to a haunting resolution."–Tobias Carroll, Words Without Borders

"All caps WOW. Buckle up because this hallucinatory descent into despair is nonstop. Abandoned by the patriarch that held them together and isolated by forces of nature beyond human control, the last tenuous trappings of performative obligation fall away as this family that no longer could spirals into madness. Lojman is a hard glare into the void of postpartum depression, the ouroboros of depressive thinking and the absolute mindfuck of suicidal ideation; a portrait of the ways in which community support saves lives rendered in negative space; a disturbing yet strangely beautiful fever dream I suspect will stick in the craws of those who read it for a long time."–Kerry Halls, Auntie's Books, Spokane, WA

"Lojman is a captivating, intense, and claustrophobic novel from a new-to-us voice out of Turkey. Told with a surreal inventiveness, this story about an abandoned mother giving birth in isolation becomes so much more beneath the surface in Ebru Ojen's deft hands."–Rebekah Rine, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS

"A frigid crucible, Lojman's austere horror slowly buds and blossoms into a mind-searing spectacle of cosmic proportions."Spencer Ruchti & Justin Wells, Du Mois Monthly

"Ojen has constructed a claustrophobic world in which the mixture of 'some affection and some hatred' that can characterize family life finally spills over into a fantastically violent conclusion. This relentless narrative will stun and frighten readers in the best way."–Publishers Weekly

"A Kurdish family is trapped in a mother's madness. . . . The children are caught, too, as is the reader, spiraling into a surreal world."–Kirkus Reviews

"Ojen's willful characters know from the beginning that the landscape surrounding Lojman and the fates of its inhabitants are false images of nature projected onto them by the state and society. Their story defies all meanings assigned to the nature of motherhood, childhood, manhood by the languages that have constructed them. A compelling, excruciating, and sophisticated dissection of family as a house to which we're sentenced to love."–Nazlı Koca, author of The Applicant

"Lojman is a feverish account of the thrashings of an imprisoned body and soul and a hallucinatory examination of motherhood, individuality, and romantic love. A dark, original, exciting novel."– Ayşegül Savas, author of Walking on the Ceiling

"A parable of violence–of state mandation, of mothering alone, of being mothered, of the vastness of nature–that shocks the system like stepping out the front door into a snowstorm. What does it mean to be a woman, and to be mothered by women, who have suffered under such alienation? Ebru Ojen captures the experience of immense pain with dark fervor and deft lyricism."–Makenna Goodman, author of The Shame

"I've never read anything like Lojman. Ebru Ojen doesn't shy away–or let her readers shy away–from the darkest human emotions, which she evokes in exquisite, excruciating detail. This intense and visceral story of an abandoned family and their descent into chaos will stay with me for a long time."–Helen Phillips, author of The Need

"The most impressive aspect of Lojman is that it keeps the family out of its traditional patterns and recreates it with an uncompromising, malevolent reality."–Gazete Duvar (an online magazine in Turkey)

"Ojen has succeeded in building a distinctive language in Lojman, just as she did in her first novel, Vaccine."–Abdullah Ezik in Sanat Kritik

"Questioning social roles and institutions, [Lojman] also draws attention with its bold and unique narrative language"–T24

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ISBN-10: 0872868982
ISBN-13: 9780872868984
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 08/15/2023
Dimensions: 7.90" L, 5.20" W, 0.80" H
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