Two peaks in a barren landscape: Turkish-Dutch writers in the Netherlands

Stella I. Linn*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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As in several other European countries, the end of the last century in the Netherlands saw the emergence of a multicultural literature written by second-generation immigrants. Unlike writers of Moroccan origin, however, Turkish-Dutch authors are barely visible in the literary field, with two notable exceptions: Özcan Akyol and Murat Isik. How and why did these writers achieve a breakthrough in the past decade with their respective novels Eus (2012) and Wees
onzichtbaar [‘Be invisible’] (2017)? My analysis covers not only textual aspects such as theme and style, but also literary sociological factors, in particular, the awarding of prizes, authors’ self-fashioning and media exposure, and reader appreciation. To this end, I use both professional criticism and amateur reviews posted on, the Dutch market leader in online book sales, and, the largest online reader community in the Netherlands. The bestselling status of the two novels appears to be due to different factors: while the success of Wees onzichtbaar is entirely the result of high praise from both literary critics and consumer reviewers, in the case of Eus, Akyol’s strong television and social media presence clearly contributed to the book’s success.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)158-174
Aantal pagina's17
TijdschriftDutch Crossing
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
Vroegere onlinedatum7-jan.-2023
StatusPublished - 2023

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