Sabahattin Ali: Madonna in a Fur Coat

“And what a pity that is: a dash of curiosity is all it takes to stumble upon treasures we never expected.”

This is true for people, and it is true for books including this one.

“For wasn’t there sufficient pleasure to be had in silent patience… When we walked side by side, did I not feel his humanity most profoundly? Only now did I begin to understand why it was not always through words that people sought each other out and came to understand each other, and why some poets went to such lengths to seek out companions who could, like them, contemplate the beauties of nature in silence. Though I did not know what I was learning from this silent man walking alongside me, I was certain that I was learning far more than I would have done from a teacher in years.”

In this little treasure of a book, there are traces of Before Sunrise in the manner of dialogue and hints of Stoner in the life of the main character that, had it not been written decades prior, I would have believed it to be inspired by both. And yet, it could very well be the other way around. That reading Madonna in a Fur Coat brought these special titles to mind should already say enough of its merits.

But we write about what we have read to simmer in the experience. To cling to the characters a little bit more as if to comfort them even though, in truth, it is us who seek comfort. To investigate their strengths and their flaws and hold them up against our own and consider if we would be as strong or as weak, whether we could love as much, love enough, or truly love at all. To write about how this particular book gently chides us for our superficial encounters and interactions, and how it nudges us to search into the loneliness of other people as much as our own. To untangle our thoughts and give them enough time to be rewired with whatever wisdom we just gleaned, because we know it is not exactly in the writing but in the thinking, and then in the living.

6 thoughts on “Sabahattin Ali: Madonna in a Fur Coat”

  1. Beautiful review, Mira! A new-to-me writer and book! Loved this final line in your review – “because we know it is not exactly in the writing but in the thinking, and then in the living.” So beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your kind words, Mira 😊 I got this book after I read your review. Have never heard of Sabahattin Ali before and so am very excited to discover a new-to-me writer through your post!


    1. ❤ ❤ ❤ So happy to know you loved it, too!

      Just emerged from the pages of the Balkan Trilogy! Olivia Manning doesn't make 900+ pages feel tedious! What a rewarding read! Picked this one first because of how you like it slightly more than the other one! But also realized that it is the correct chronological order. Haha

      Liked by 1 person

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