ABOUT L'AVVENTURA



Gündüz, a young, gifted Turkish boy enters a shop in Istanbul one gloomy evening and finds himself among strange characters who use the place as a refuge from the rain. Two clerks who feel violated by his presence lock Gündüz into a closet.

As Gündüz struggles for freedom, Istanbul's inhabitants find themselves struck by plague. Meanwhile the streets get filled with traditional characters from traditional theatre, with Karagöz and Hacivat, the lead characters of Turkish shadow play, showing their skills at entertainment.

We meet a gloomy Turkish poet who bores his friends to death with his verses. We also meet Joe, an American sailor who wants to bring with him as many locals as he can.

In the course of his Noah-esque mission to save locals Joe meets Gündüz and his boss. He also comes across Yulaf, the latter's chief enemy.

Travelling to places such as The Isle of Bears Gündüz tries fulfilling tasks assigned to him by authorities, and eventually becomes the supreme ruler of the ship.

L'Avventura concludes in Africa where Gündüz and his friends are attacked by colonialists as well as a German scientist, before escaping from the continent in a full-sized balloon.

L'Avventura retells the classical adventure narratives of the nineteenth century. When it was published at the end of noughties by Yapı Kredi Publishing L'Avventura was praised as an avant-garde experiment as well as an example of a new wave of Turkish fiction.

Praise for L'Avventura
Upon the publication of L'Avventura, Kaya Genç was named one of Newsweek Turkey's "20 under 40" writers and was included in Notos magazine's list of "25 Young Masters of Turkish Literature".

"Kaya Genç is one of the most interesting Turkish writers to emerge in recent years. In his essays as well as his fiction, he converses across borders, while forging his own distinct voice and perspective, and challenging dominant narratives." - Maureen Freely

"A promising young novelist..." - Elif Batuman

"We explore the far continents and dark geographies; and we even have fun. But to just focus on such details and ignore the subject does an injustice to the novel; because in the Adventure we are confronted by the most severe and shocking form of cruelty... Strictly speaking this is a funny, shivery and even somewhat enigmatic adventure. Regarding the language, it is both carnivalesque and full of labyrinths." - Altay Öktem, Turkish Book Review

“Genç’s first novel L'Avventura is full of signs indicating a young novelist’s mastery. If he continues with his work and resists in this style, his works shall be read in the future [alongside other members of his generation] as a part of a more avantgarde and powerful literature...” - Professor Hasan Bülent Kahraman (Princeton University), SABAH

“Kaya Genç is very good at recreating the style and atmosphere of the classical realist novel. When he describes İstanbul, his descriptions of its neighborhoods and people are similar to those of London and Paris during the industrial age -similarly sordid... Stray dogs on streets, secluded neighborhoods, scattered garbages, deserted houses, very strange characters... In L’Avventura you can find traces of Arabian Nights, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Don Quixote and Tristram Shandy -all novels of parodic intent. Works of Thomas de Quincey, Gogol and Kafka also come to mind.” - Ömer Türkeş, Radikal Kitap
"A booming figure of Turkey's new generation of authors..." - Milliyet


"Already a very accomplished novelist..." - Semih Gümüş, Radikal


"One should read L'Avventura alongside Sterne's Tristram Shandy..." - İsmail Pelit

"One novel had been enough for the literary world to acknowledge his gifts" - Ümran Avcı, HaberTürk

"An apocalyptic plot with a touch of traditional Ottoman literature" - M. Sadık Aslankara, Cumhuriyet


“We are persuaded that these are postmodern times, times in which slogans are looked down upon... And in these postmodern times Kaya Genç comes with his first novel, courageous enough to begin with slogans... Critics talk about how L'Avventura manages a ‘loss of power’ in discourse; this is achieved by its author’s constant reminding of the distance between the book and the reader. Genç constantly reminds his reader that what she is reading is always a book.” - Said Aydın, Zaman
“This is a creepy and funny adventure novel. You will read L'Avventura gasping for breath.” - Mehmet Ali Birand, Posta
L'Avventura is an ‘egoist’ novel; similar to Marcel Proust’s work it rejects completely the ordinary, disordered and mostly boring lives of its readers. Instead L’Avventura imposes its presence onto the reader. Genç ignores the dominant reader choices and achieves the more difficult task of constructing a narrative that is anti-conventional, anti-plot; many exciting events are passed silently and suddenly a most unexpected detail becomes the heart of his novel. If he had not composed sentences of magical beauty, all this would have been mere experiment; but in his anarchic structures even the beauty of these sentences are not enough for Genç. He intimidates his own characters and with that, changes the rules of the game again and again.” - Yenal Bilgici, Newsweek Türkiye
“When one reads L'Avventura for the first time, its language seems natural, functioning as a mere ‘communication tool’. Formally and structurally, it reminds one of classical novels as it is structured in the context of nineteenth century’s literary issues. But while doing these things, L’Avventura also carries a somewhat devilish purpose.” - Murat Yalçın, Notos Öykü
“He does not merely write fiction but like a storyteller, narrates it. During his performance Genç gives passing references to The Treasure Island and to [classical Turkish novelist] Ahmet Mithat Efendi’s advices to his wives... Genç is young like his surname; whatever he composes from now on, Genç is in my attention chamber. For L'Avventura is a sort of flare that definitely sparked my curiosity.” - Refik Durbaş, SABAH
“Turkish literary critic Fethi Naci once asked his readers which Turkish novel they would like to read again. I am sure that I will read L'Avventura again. Having read more than a hundred novels out of a few hundred published in the last five years, I could finish only twenty or thirty of them. L'Avventura was one of those books and I am one of those who curiously wait for Kaya Genç’s second novel." - Derviş Şentekin, Radikal Kitap
“Kaya Genç’s first novel promises a fantastic adventure with the style of a mature novelist.” - İhsan Yılmaz, Hürriyet
“This is a radical literary experiment that resembles none of the novels you have read before... A first novel, L’Avventura is a strange reading experience indeed. I have to warn you that you will either love or hate this novel -but you will surely try fitting it into your standard reading practices.” - Elif Tanrıyar, SABAH
L’Avventura is a novel composed with a most unexpected form. It is a parody that makes fun of classical narratives.” - Murat Tokay, Zaman
"I did not know Kaya Genç until the day his novel fell from the sky... It proved to be one of the best novels of that year—according to my dear friend Cem Akaş, it was indeed the best one.” - Dr. Levent Yılmaz (Istanbul Bilgi University)
"Kaya Genç is among Turkey's most admired authors..." - Selçuk Tepeli, Newsweek Türkiye


“Kaya Genç, chiefly known as a critic and a translator, has written a first novel that resembles an endless dream -it is also an intellectual adventure. While his protagonist Gündüz struggles to escape from the city that is surrounded by the plague, Genç struggles to come to terms with the history of the novel.” - Tolga Meriç, Vatan
L'Avventura was picked as one of the best books of 2008 by critics Gündüz Vassaf, Metin Celâl, Cem Akaş and Star newspaper.