The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories
A debut collection of inventive, fresh, and richly human stories at once uncanny and startlingly real.The Greek god Apollo reckons with his personal history as he tries to memorialize—and make sense of—war, in “The Trojan War Museum.” A Turkish student at an American university stops eating, and her family, teachers, and soon, the world at large, demand to know why, in “Iconography.” In “The Gathering of Desire,” a woman finds herself in a competitive game against the chess-playing automaton known as “The Turk,” while the man inside the machine mirrors her crisis of faith.The characters in this collection of dazzling and original stories—an infamous wrestler, a group of girls caught in a school explosion, an Ottoman ambassador with an infamous art collection—blur the boundaries between worlds real and imagined, western and eastern, physical and metaphysical. Examining themes of identity, othering, and self-determination, The Trojan War Museum strives to bring light to the darkest corners of ourselves and our histories.

The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories Details

TitleThe Trojan War Museum and Other Stories
Author
ReleaseAug 20th, 2019
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
ISBN-139781324002970
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Fantasy

The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories Review

  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Really great collection, both thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable. Review hopefully to come in another outlet soon.
  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    The stories in Ayşe Papatka Bucak’s collection, The Trojan War Museum, are the kind that force readers to pay close attention—but in a good way, I promise! These stories allude to Ottoman and Turkish history, mid-nineteenth century French art, death customs, Melungeons, the meaning and symbolism of the body, Orientalism, the Trojan war, the Greek gods, terrorism, and so many things. In addition, a lot of the stories interrupt themselves to go off in different directions that are later shown to b The stories in Ayşe Papatka Bucak’s collection, The Trojan War Museum, are the kind that force readers to pay close attention—but in a good way, I promise! These stories allude to Ottoman and Turkish history, mid-nineteenth century French art, death customs, Melungeons, the meaning and symbolism of the body, Orientalism, the Trojan war, the Greek gods, terrorism, and so many things. In addition, a lot of the stories interrupt themselves to go off in different directions that are later shown to be directly relevant or, in one case, turn into a snowball of connected ideas. This collection challenged and pleased me. I can’t say that I was entertained, as such, but I feel like these stories made the old mental gears turn a little faster...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.
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  • ♠️ TABI ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    probably never gonna read this but the cover reminded me of something
  • Maggie Rotter
    January 1, 1970
    I was ready to give this collection 5 stars after the first story. Just to be fair I held off to thoroughly enjoy the rest. No need to describe the stories. They are equally thought provoking and askew.
  • Kate Grace
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve just finished story three (“Iconography”) of ten in this collection, but already I want to rate the book as highly as possible, five stars. Here’s why:First, there’s a beautiful clarity to Ayse Papatya Bucak’s prose that reminds me of Jhumpa Lahiri’s work. And second, Bucak crafts stories that read, to me, like fairytales or folktales with a sort of “modern-day” sensibility. In other words, as the tales unspool, they meaningfully engage not only with storytelling traditions - but with recen I’ve just finished story three (“Iconography”) of ten in this collection, but already I want to rate the book as highly as possible, five stars. Here’s why:First, there’s a beautiful clarity to Ayse Papatya Bucak’s prose that reminds me of Jhumpa Lahiri’s work. And second, Bucak crafts stories that read, to me, like fairytales or folktales with a sort of “modern-day” sensibility. In other words, as the tales unspool, they meaningfully engage not only with storytelling traditions - but with recent conversations about gender, immigration, social justice, etc. Thank you to Norton and Goodreads Giveaways for my advance reading copy. Not even halfway in, I love this collection and am thinking how best to use with my high school students.
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  • Leah Rachel von Essen
    January 1, 1970
    The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories is an excellent short story collection from Ayse Papatya Bucak, a Turkish-American author of short fiction. The collection overall is inventive and exciting.In “The History of Girls,” young girls ponder tragedy and tell stories while waiting to be rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building. “Little Sister and Emineh” tells of two young girls at the Turkish Village of the iconic Chicago World Fair. “The Trojan War Museum” is one of Bucak’s most effecti The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories is an excellent short story collection from Ayse Papatya Bucak, a Turkish-American author of short fiction. The collection overall is inventive and exciting.In “The History of Girls,” young girls ponder tragedy and tell stories while waiting to be rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building. “Little Sister and Emineh” tells of two young girls at the Turkish Village of the iconic Chicago World Fair. “The Trojan War Museum” is one of Bucak’s most effective tales: the gods ponder how best to commemorate the violence of the war, and try out various iterations over the centuries. “The Dead” touches on sponge divers in Florida as well as a survivor of the Armenian genocide and the ways her tragedy is exploited in America; “The Gathering of Desire” tells the story of the chess grandmaster operating the mechanical Turk and the woman who might be able to beat him. One of the best stories in the collection was “An Ottoman’s Arabesque,” a strange roll through paintings of Turks and eroticism and how they feature in Western imagination or in the minds of painters and collectors.The Trojan War Museum shows Bucak’s talent. While there are weaker points, the best stories are so excellent that they make the collection well worth reading. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The collection comes out August 20, 2019.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    These are excellent stories. I really found myself wanting to be in them, wanting to believe. There is a whimsical approach to them, sometime humorous and sometimes sad, that just makes me want to get in and stay there. Very nice.
  • Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of the debut collection! It should be stated first that Bucak writes very well. She is able to move her prose laterally, switching seamlessly between poetic waxing and more concrete storytelling, giving the work a tidal sort of feeling; like being pushing gently back and forth by the waves of the sea.The stories are unique and personal, finding that sweet-spot in between tragic and ironic that makes them feel real, despite the occasionally surreal, or e I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of the debut collection! It should be stated first that Bucak writes very well. She is able to move her prose laterally, switching seamlessly between poetic waxing and more concrete storytelling, giving the work a tidal sort of feeling; like being pushing gently back and forth by the waves of the sea.The stories are unique and personal, finding that sweet-spot in between tragic and ironic that makes them feel real, despite the occasionally surreal, or even outright uncanny events and imagery throughout. Most of the stories are very well fleshed out and satisfying, with the opening story, titled "The History of Girls" standing out to me as the most emotionally impactful. I can only label one story as being my 'least' favorite, though it's only for lack of better options to pick on! The story about the wrestler felt somewhat unfinished to me, due to the story breaking into a 4-wall-breaking sort of dialogue.Regardless of my own extremely mild disappointment at that one story, I'd say this book is worth a read and a recommendation!
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  • J Earl
    January 1, 1970
    The Trojan War Museum: and Other Stories from Ayse Papatya Bucak absolutely took me by surprise. One of the best story collections of recent years and easily holds its own against classics.I wasn't sure what to expect when I chose this book. The blurb sounded interesting and I like short stories a lot. The very first story floored me. I couldn't get it out of my mind and had to wait until the next day to read the next story. My fear was that the rest of the collection was bound to disappoint sin The Trojan War Museum: and Other Stories from Ayse Papatya Bucak absolutely took me by surprise. One of the best story collections of recent years and easily holds its own against classics.I wasn't sure what to expect when I chose this book. The blurb sounded interesting and I like short stories a lot. The very first story floored me. I couldn't get it out of my mind and had to wait until the next day to read the next story. My fear was that the rest of the collection was bound to disappoint since the first story set the bar so high. I was wrong. I think the first story is my favorite but the others were all in the ballpark.I expect some variance in how I feel about the different stories in a collection. This holds true for essay collections as well. Even though all written by the same hand there are always at least one or two I just couldn't get into. Well, this collection is the exception. Yes, the variance was still there, but the range was not from good to bad but from wow to very good. To contextualize my feelings about collections in general, let me just explain my views about reading them (short story or essay). While most such books can be a quick read, I prefer to spread them out. I may read several other novels and nonfiction works while reading one short story collection. The exception is when I get one for review purposes. Then I shorten that time, though I try not to read two stories at one sitting. I like to think about what was written as well as what I felt. Having said that, I had to give myself time between some of these stories because they were impactful on more than one level. The character's plight of course, but the role of both personal and cultural or collective history as well. Then the thin line between what is real and what isn't, both in the stories and in my own world.I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the short story form. These are not all simple linear stories but neither are they convoluted or confusing. They do, however, demand some thought and attention, but they reward you for giving it. This will particularly appeal to readers who enjoy the interplay between real life and abstract thought.Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads.
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  • Lily Gellman
    January 1, 1970
    Dreamlike, yes, but also rich with the sort of detail you can savor and turn over for hours. My favorites were the title story (“The Trojan War Museum”), “Iconography,” “Mysteries of the Mountain South,” and “The Gathering of Desire.” But there wasn’t a single weak story in the collection. And the through-lines wrestling (in one or two cases literally) with mythmaking, identity, culture, and memory were everywhere evident.
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  • Carmen María Pérez
    January 1, 1970
    The ten short stories told by Bucak are a collection of enchantments, myths, actual history, human relationships, joy, death, personal identity, culture, art, and more. The two that I liked the most were: Mysteries of the Mountain South and The History of Girls. The stories explore the author’s Turkish roots. The author deploys a range of styles and techniques that create a remarkable and compassionate collection. I give it 3 stars out of five.
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  • Eames
    January 1, 1970
    I think this book is very well written. If I had to describe the voice it would be something like a news reporter from a parallel universe just to the left of ours. And I was greatly engaged by the first, last, and title stories. But the rest of them were literarily unsettling in a bad way. So the fact of the matter is that I just cannot recommend this book.
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    This is the best book of short stories I have ever read. Each story was beautifully written, completely original, and came to life in ways that were truly magical. The title story is probably my new favorite short story. After reading it, I had to immediately send it to everyone I know, and insist that they read it as well. This book is a must-read, I promise you you will not be disappointed.
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  • Faith 09
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome collection of stories.
  • Sureyya
    January 1, 1970
    BrilliantHighly entertaining and smart. A mixture of Turkish fairy tales and post modern fiction. Often sad but uplifting stories. Wonderful.
  • BB
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fantastic set of short stories! I'm usually hesitant to read short story collections because more often than not most of the stories fall flat with only a couple gems thrown in between but this collection knocks a punch with each story. I highly recommend this one! I also think it would be great for book clubs because there are a lot of themes that could be discussed around the stories. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author!Thank you to Netgalley and the pu This was a fantastic set of short stories! I'm usually hesitant to read short story collections because more often than not most of the stories fall flat with only a couple gems thrown in between but this collection knocks a punch with each story. I highly recommend this one! I also think it would be great for book clubs because there are a lot of themes that could be discussed around the stories. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author!Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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