About Neslihan

 

 

Words by Martina Tomasello

 

Meet a great writer you might not have heard of yet. A writer whose heart and intellect embrace both East and West. A writer who gives the voiceless a voice.

In a tea room on High Street Kensington in London, Neslihan is reading a newspaper before meeting and warmly welcoming me at her table.

Intense gaze, hazel skin.

“I was looking forward to meeting you; at least now I’ve got an excuse for tasting all these delicious sweets,” she says, touching her long, brown hair, tied up in a strict plait.

Turkish and Hungarian by birth, Italian by heart and English by formation, Neslihan strongly advocates looking at the world and at the human heart from different angles.

“Literature helps me do just that,” she says. 

 

Not love at fırst sight

“My love of letters was not love at first sight,” she continues. “You need to live a little, I guess, before you can write. You need those twists and turns in your life that carry you to a point where you explode - hopefully, in a positive sense - and fall head over heels in love.”

It took her a degree in finance, a short-lived career in banking, another degree in French Literature and an attempt to study psychology, together with years of translation (and with three marriages and a daughter into the bargain) before her love for literature found full expression. Her first book, White, portraying a modern interpretation of the psychological aspects of the Samkhya philosophywas published in Turkish in 2007. (The English version is not yet published.) Rüya, an epic novel, followed suit in three volumes: Broken RhapsodyA Retake on War and Csardas.

 

The only true voyage

“The only true voyage would be, not to visit new landscapes, but to have new eyes,” she quotes from Marcel Proust. “Writing, for me, is one such voyage opening one door after another to a myriad of surprising discoveries, a voyage helping me give voice to the voiceless or muted individuals and societies, a true voyage where I, willingly or unwillingly, expose my own voiceless or muted innermost self.”

That’s what Neslihan is. Genuine and sincere, she’s a writer willing to give her readers the chance to discover themselves with no pretence or prejudice. She’s a woman who believes in the power of imagination, the value of family and the significance of being lost, sometimes, in life.