Sevim Burak

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Sevim Burak

She was the second child of a captain, Mehmet Seyfullah Burak and a Bulgarian immigrant with Jewish roots, Anne Marie Mandil, on 26 June 1931 in Ortaköy, Istanbul. She started primary school in Çanakkale where her family was living due to her father’s position, but she completed it at Süleyman Şefik Paşa Nakkaştepe 45th Primary School in Kuzguncuk. She then went to the German High School. She received medical treatment due to her heart condition during her childhood. She lost her mother when she was 17, in 1948. Shortly after, she married Orhan Borar who was a violinist at the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. In 1950, she started working as a fashion model at the finishing school. She ran a fashion house and workshop in Sıraselviler. She gave birth to her son Karaca Borar in 1955. She was divorced from her husband in 1958. She started writing her first short stories in the 1950s, when she was dealing with the problems of her marriage. Kuzguncuk, where she lived in those years, is an important setting in her first short stories.

Her second marriage was with the painter Ömer Uluç. the couple had a daughter, Elfe Uluç. After the 1960 coup d’etat she closed down her fashion house and started writing full-time. She published her first short story collection, Yanık Saraylar in 1965. Not receiving the attention she expected, she did not publish anything for seventeen years. In these years, she worked on her novel, Mach 1. Her childhood ailment, the cardiac defect repeated in 1970s and her treatment process started again. Her husband was assigned to Nigeria and she moved there with him in 1976 without having the necessary surgery. She lived in Africa for a year and a half. She had a surgery in 1980 in Istanbul. Her and her husband had a divorce.

Her short story “Ah Ya’Rab Yehova” in Yanık Saraylar was adapted for the stage, titled Sahibinin Sesi in 1982. In 1983 she published her short story collection Afrika Dan,sı in which she tried new techniques. The book created a debate in literary circles. She was taken to hospital for a new surgery and died before the operation on 5 January 1984. Her play, Everest My Lord (İşte Baş, İşte Gövde, İşte Kanatlar) (1984) and her last short story collection, Palyaço Ruşen (1993) were published posthumously. The letters that she wrote to her son was published as Mach 1’den Mektuplar (1990). In her work, she focused on issues of equality and freedom in her own poetic style and portrayed the revolt of the oppressed people. Burak tried experimental styles and produced avant-garde works for her time.


Works

  • Yanık Saraylar (1965)
  • Sahibinin Sesi (1982)
  • Afrika Dansı (1982)
  • Everest My Lord (İşte Baş, İşte Gövde, İşte Kanatlar) (1984)
  • Ford Mach 1 (haz. Nilüfer Güngörmüş, 1993)
  • Mach I’dan Mektuplar (1990).
  • Palyaço Ruşen (1993)
  • Beni Deliler Anlar (2009)

Bibliography

  • Borar, Karaca. “Annelik gibi bir tasası yoktu, o Sevim Burak’lık yapıyordu” Milliyet (7 March 2004 <http://www.milliyet.com.tr/2004/03/07/cumartesi/cum02.html>.
  • Dodurka, Zeynep Berra. “Dünyalarını Kaybetmişlere Yazan Sevim Burak” Boğaziçi University Women's Studies Araştırmaları <http://www.bukak.boun.edu.tr/?p=492>.
  • Dündar, Leyla Burcu. “Sevim Burak’ın Yazın Gelenegine Müdahalesi” Adam Öykü 32 (Ocak- Şubat 2001): 61 – 73.
  • Erdem, Nilüfer Güngörmüş. “Sevim Burak, Birey ve Karanlığı” Adam Öykü (Kasım-Aralık 2004).
  • Koçakoğlu, Bedia. Aşkın Şizofrenik Hali Sevim Burak. Istanbul: Palet, 2009.
  • Özkök, Seher. “Sevim Burak’ın Öyküleri Üzerine Dil ve İçerik Merkezli Bir İnceleme.” MA Thesis. Istanbul: Boğaziçi University, 2006.
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