Told from four different perspectives, Around the Breakfast Table is a story of hidden histories and family secrets, from the author of The SIlence of Scheherazade.
Prinkipo Island, 2017.
In the glow of a late summer morning, family and friends gather for the 100th birthday of the famous artist Sirin Saka. It ought to be a time of fond reminiscence – looking back on a long and fruitful artistic career and on memories spanning almost a century, back to a time when imperial forces fought over her homeland.
But the deep past is something Sirin has spent a lifetime trying to conceal. Her grandchildren, Nur and Fikret, and great grandchild, Selin, do not know what Sirin is hiding, though they are intimately aware of the secret's psychological consequences. The siblings invite family friend and investigative journalist Burak along for his help, while Sirin's life-long servant Sadik does all he can to defend the artist.
Eventually Sirin begins to express her pain the only way she knows how. She paints the story onto her dining room wall, revealing a history wiped from public consciousness and the cause of her family's anguish that has sat, ruinous, in their subconscious for generations.
'Suman's voice and descriptions are so unique and enveloping. I love the characters and reading her work is an utterly delightful experience' Buki Papillon, author of An Ordinary Wonder
'This unforgettable novel reveals a city, and a culture, now lost to time' LoveReading.
'Suman deftly paints a picture of a city which endures occupation after occupation, a quiescent powder keg inching closer and closer to the flame with each influx of new political superpowers' Asymptote Journal.
'This rich tale of love and loss gives voice to the silenced, and adds music to their histories' Maureen Freely, Chair, English PEN