Editor's Introduction of Miyase Sertbarut
"A powerful storyteller, a language artisan"
Throughout her writing adventure that started in themid-90’s, Miyase Sertbarut has enriched Turkish children’s and young adult literature with numerous works on their way to becoming classics.
Although she initially suffered the disadvantages of not being close to the literary world, her work quickly drew attention and her voice became more prominent as she received top prizes from every competition she entered; she managed to endear herself to her readers with her smooth and flowing narration.
Since the 2000’s, when she added thematic explorations to her mastery of storytelling, she broadened the horizons of Turkish children’s literature, which has been stuck in theever-similar mediocrities of daily life and has unfortunately been insistent on being didactic. From this point onwards, the defining characteristics of her authorship have been powerful storytelling and carefully crafted language.
In Hidden by the Fog, the consequences of scientific research divorced from ethical concerns, as to regard all life forms as guinea pigs, even for such a noble purpose as extending human life,are intertwined with troubles of puberty.
The pains caused by puberty and the search for identity were once again at the forefront in the form of a mystery novel in Who are You?
In Kapiland’s Guinea Pigs, the capitalist system markets genetically modified products to developing countries and encourages conspicuous consumption in the name of aid. Those who are aware of these plans and aim to disrupt them are subjected to a psychological reconditioning of their perceptions in The Dark Side of Kapiland. While the vast difference between public image and reality is highlighted, the paradox created by the massive advances in communication technologies that simultaneously enable uncovering of information while allowing misinformation to spread is also kept within reader’s attention.
Building on an endemic consequence of our country not having established the practice of sorting garbage, Junk Plaza offers a close look at the lives of the numerous workers who collect recyclable materials such as paper, plastics etc. from trash dumps while also criticising the legitimisation of all actions of the dominant on the poor, based on unchecked power.
For Ice Dolls, where she manages to draw attention on child abuse and makes us feel the loneliness of orphans in our hearts, we can definitively argue that it is one of the bravest works ever written in Turkish children literature so far.
Overall, we are faced with an author who takes issues of inequalities exacerbated by globalisation and who is striving to give a voice to masses pushed aside by the establishment. Her carefully crafted narratives, along with her missions to expand the horizons of her readers in matters of politics, society and science, to broaden the areas of interest and improve critical thinking are complimentary objectives of her writing.