FAU Professor’s Book Makes Oprah’s Recommended Book List


Staff report

Florida Atlantic University associate professor of English Ayse Papatya Bucak’s latest book, “The Trojan War Museum, and Other Stories” was listed in O, The Oprah Magazine’s “10 August Books You Should Read Right Now” for August.

The Oprah Winfrey Book Club has been recommending books since its founding in 1996, with Oprah Winfrey herself reading the books and making recommendations. Many of her picks have gone on to be national and international bestsellers.

Bucak’s collection includes 10 stories that explore the author’s Turkish roots. “The History of Girls,” centers on a group of girls trapped in the rubble of a school explosion who are visited by the ghosts of their dead classmates; “A Cautionary Tale” is the story of a Turkish wrestler; and “The Dead” is about a sponge magnate’s encounter with a survivor of the Armenian genocide. Publishers Weekly stated that, “Bucak’s remarkable, inventive and humane debut marks her as a writer to watch.”

Bucak has published prose and poetry in a variety of magazines, including The Kenyon Review; Creative Nonfiction; Prairie Schooner; Pank; and The Fairy Tale Review. Stories in her latest collection were awarded the O. Henry (“The History of Girls”) and Pushcart prize (“Iconography”). She has held residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Hedgebrook Farm, Willapa Bay AIR, Brush Creek, the Betsy Hotel, and the Studios of Key West.  She is a contributing editor for the journal, Copper Nickel.

Bucak was born in Istanbul to an American mother and a Turkish father, but spent most of her childhood in Havertown, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. Her B.A. is from Princeton University and her M.F.A. is from Arizona State University.

Bucak is the subject of the first “In Conversation” podcast produced by the Dorothy F. College of Arts and Letters, which was released on August 13, 2019. Michael Horswell, Ph.D., dean of the College, interviewed Bucak about her new book and about how growing up in the United States with Turkish heritage inspired her to write stories with elements from Turkey’s culture and history, but from her American point of view.

To access the podcast, visit: http://fau.edu/artsandletters/podcast/. For more information about FAU’s Department of English, visit fau.edu/english.