On my way to a Litquake event – Stories on Stage: Family, dramatic readings of stories by Ann Packer, Melanie Rae Thon, and Jennifer Egan, I stopped at Yerba Buena Gardens and sat down on a stone bench. Groups of people in high business dress marched past, men slept beside their carts of belongings, lovers lay together in the grass. At the other end of the bench, a guy in his twenties, with extraordinarily hip glasses, music in his ears, was curled up, writing fiercely, intently in a journal.
After a couple of minutes, four men and a woman came along the walkway: all big, strong-looking, most of the men bearded, the woman with long red hair. They all wore full-out khaki uniforms with high-tech headgear and Ghostbusters armpatches, most of them strapped into enormous backpacks attached to hoses and scanners. The scanners were apparently picking something up: the green lights on the backpacks were lighting up and beeping.
Grinning self-consciously, but with an air of deliberate professionalism, the Ghostbusters seemed a little at loose ends over which way to go. The guy on the bench beside me didn’t look up. Actually only a few people seemed to be taking notice of them. After some discussion, they headed out to the street, in the direction of the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
"Snow is my first deliberately political novel…When I started writing fiction some 30 years ago, I had seen that the best authors of previous generations had destroyed their talent to serve a country, to get politically involved, or to make a moral command. But 20 years later, after I had established myself as an author both inside and outside Turkey, I was critical not only of the war the Turkish state waged against the Kurdish guerrillas, but also of its position on human rights and freedom of expression. I published some articles, most of them outside Turkey because I couldn't publish them at home then, and I began to get a bit notorious for making political comments outside my books. I said to myself, 'Why don't I once write a political novel and get it out of my system?'"