Obama’s next read: A Mind at Peace
Barack Obama is easy to buy gifts for. Just give him a book and he’ll be happy. The leader of the Turkish opposition party gave him with a copy of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar’s 1949 novel, A Mind At Peace, on the president’s recent trip. Naturally, it’s a novel about change.
A Mind at Peace is a tragic love story concerning a family in the years after the founding of the Turkish republic in 1923. Set in changing times, the protagonist Mümtaz wants to preserve the past. After his parents’ death, he becomes a devotee of Turkish literature and falls in love with an unattainable woman.
Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar was one of Turkey’s most prominant novelist of the 20th century. He taught aesthetics, mythology, and literature at the University of Istanbul.