The first promotion of the novel “Heaven in Your Heart” by the Turkish author Leyla Karaça held in Sarajevo

The TPO Foundation and the University Gender Resource Center organized the promotion of the novel “Heaven in Your Heart” by the Turkish author Leyla Karaça on September 12, 2023, in Sarajevo. The first promotion of the mentioned novel in Bosnia and Herzegovina took place in Sarajevo on September 12. starting at 6 pm in the premises of the Museum of Literature and Theater Arts. As part of the promotion of the novel, a panel discussion “Spaces for women in literature” was organized, and the participants were Prof.  Adisa Bašić Ph.D. and B.Sc. comparativist Nikolina Todorović, while the discussion was moderated by Prof. Ajla Demiragić PhD.

The author Leyla Karaça greeted the present audience through a video, and made a short review of the promoted novel, emphasizing the philosophical questions that arise in it, which explore the issue of knowing the authentic self, and the relationship between ego and spirituality.

The panel discussion started with an analysis of the motif of love in the novel “Heaven in Your Heart”. Professor and writer Adisa Bašić pointed out that the main heroine of this novel is completely immersed in worldly love, but she differs from other heroines in that she is constantly self-reflecting and reflecting on philosophical thought. Also, Professor Bašić points out the motifs of this novel that are not typical for Western literature, such as the motif of going on a pilgrimage through which the theme of community permeates. This is atypical of Western literature which is highly focused on individual experience.

Writer Nikolina Todorović points out that throughout literary history there are topics that are reserved for men, as well as a whole series of literary genres. There are big narratives at stake, and women are not expected to deal with these topics. The author Leyla Karaça successfully manages to cope with these challenges, and her novel is full of existential and spiritual themes, but she reduces them to very concrete and known situations for the readers.

The panel discussion concluded with a review of the limited space for women in literature. Analyzing the experiences of BiH female writers so far, the trend of the possibility of publishing the first novel by female authors is visible, but also the phenomenon of their disappearance from the literary scene after one published work. Panelists Bašić and Todorović rounded off the panel discussion with a call for new authors not to give up on achieving their goals, even though in today’s BiH society there are still a lot of obstacles and resistance for authors who are not in the traditional canon of “women writers”.

Promotions of the novel “Heaven in Your Heart” will be held in Tuzla on September 13th and in Mostar on September 14th.