Out on 27 June 2024

The Endless Country

Sami Kent

27 June 2024
720 pages


The Endless Country takes a journey through Turkey’s past – the nation the author’s father left decades ago and he returns to as a young man.

It is not about Erdogan or Atatürk, the two towering Presidents who have book-ended that history, and at times have appeared impossible to escape. Instead Sami Kent’s book goes deep beyond them, revealing a history as rich, layered and absurd as his family’s favourite dessert, künefe: a shredded wheat pastry with a core of melted cheese, a topping of pistachios, and a drowning of syrup.

From tiny weightlifters to the world’s biggest prison, from a failed socialist commune to a wildly successful orchid ice cream, the book is a tribute to the sheer bewildering diversity of Turkey’s past: its people, their ideas and their struggles.

Turkey's complicated first century comes to life through Sami Kent's judiciously chosen stories, which he tells with compassion and depth alongside his search for the meaning of his own heritage. This may not be a comprehensive history, but it is hard to find a more complete insight into a country that few writers really know, and even fewer can explain.