Ayşe Papatya Bucak on Researching Her Own Past
The Trojan War Museum Author on The Literary Life
with Mitchell Kaplan
This week on The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan, Ayşe Papatya Bucak, author of The Trojan War Museum: and Other Stories, discusses how her stories are an intersection between her American life and the way that “Turkishness” pops up in her life, her influential authors, the O. Henry Award, life as a professor, and more.
From the episode:
Ayşe Papatya Bucak: In each of the stories, I can find the intersection [between my American and Turkish heritages]. I’ve tried to embrace that.
Mitchell Kaplan: Let’s talk about that intersection.
Ayşe Papatya Bucak: I was four when we came to the United States, so I don’t remember very much of Turkey, which I think drives a lot of my curiosity. I was always drawn to writing. My mom loved books, and my dad loved movies. They were big story people. That for sure is a factor. I did not expect to ever write about Turkey because I worry since I don’t speak Turkish, I grew up in the U.S., and I’ve spent very little time with Turks other than my father, I didn’t want to write like an American tourist in Turkey.
It took me a long time to realize that I can research this. I can research my own past. I can research the country and the stories. That’s when I started writing about Turkey. I always knew that I wanted to write, but it took me a long time to stop resisting writing about Turkey and stop worrying about writing about Turkey.