Shortlisted for the 2015 Swiss Book Prize
When her father dies unexpectedly, the young narrator of ELEPHANTS IN OUR YARD finds her life thrown into disarray. As a member of a Turkish Kosovar family now living in Switzerland, she feels unwelcome in her adopted homeland and struggles to fit in and make connections with others. Aimless and adrift, she spends a year living in a state of uncertainty, fitfully attending lectures at the university, taking long train rides, and returning to places from her previous life in Prizren. Memories of her idyllic childhood in this old Ottoman city, from which she emigrated with her family at the age of ten, force their way into the present. But the world of her childhood no longer exists, and she realizes that she, too, has changed. As she tries to find a place for herself in her new country and becomes fluent in her adopted language, she becomes increasingly more estranged from her mother with every new word of German she speaks. ELEPHANTS IN OUR YARD is a poignant first novel about a life marked by migration and alienation, sadness and loss, but also by hope and new beginnings.
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Meral Kureyshi was born in 1983 in Prizren in the former Yugoslavia, where her family belonged to the Turkish- speaking minority. She immigrated to Switzerland with her family in 1992 and now lives in Bern. She has studied German literature at the Swiss Literature Institute in Biel, founded a poetry workshop for children, and now works as a freelance writer. Her first novel, Elephants in Our Yard, was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize in 2015, won several awards, and has been translated into many languages. Her second novel, Funf Jahrezeiten, was published in 2020, and was awarded Das zweite Buch prize by the Marianne and Curt Dienemann Foundation.Author City: Bern SWI