Murat Isik

© Merlijn Doomernik
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Murat Isik

1977, Izmir
Writer, columnist, storyteller.

Murat Isik came to the Netherlands from Turkey at the age of five. He studied law, won a writing competition in 2011, and wrote his first novel  – Verloren grond [Lost ground] –  a year later with success. Full of atmosphere, this characteristic family saga is loosely based on the stories related by Isik’s parents.  Isik received De Bronzen Uil Readers’ Prize for this debut novel, which has been translated into Swedish, Turkish and German. Isik also regularly writes columns.


  Translations   Ambo | Anthos   Arche

Recently translated into German

Lost Ground
Translated by Gregor Seferens
Arche, 2016
Originaltitel: Verloren grond (Anthos, 2012)

Turkey, 1960s. Thirteen-year-old Mehmet grows up in a village originally settled by Armenians. His mild-mannered father Selim, who lost almost his entire family in the First World War, is a beloved storyteller, and his mother Aşme is a powerful woman, whose sharp tongue fills everyone with fear. Together with their three children—Mehmet, his brother Yusuf, and his younger sister Elida—they form a tight-knit family, until an accident brings tragic consequences for Selim and changes their lives forever. He makes a hasty decision to return with his family to his home village, where he owns land. But far from receiving a warm welcome there, Mehmet and his family must fight for their lives.

Lost Land (German title: Das Licht im Land meines Vaters), loosely based on Murat Isik’s own family history, is an epic story about a family torn apart by fate and personal choices, a gripping father-and-son saga of friendship, loss, and hope.
'Lost Land' ‘grabs you,’ as the expression goes. Isik’s style is so perfectly natural that after a while you stop focusing on it and become absorbed in the story, the authentic characters, and the skillfully timed scenes. Let’s hope that Isik keeps on publishing.

De Standaard

A new, eloquent, compelling voice in Dutch literature.

NRC Handelsblad

A stunningly beautiful family story.

De Volkskrant