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Cover of The Trojan War Museum by Ayse Papatya Bucak
August 2019
W.W. Norton

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The Trojan War Museum

And Other Stories
Ayse Papatya Bucak

A debut story collection of spectacular imaginative range and lyricism from a Pushcart Prize–winning author.

In Ayse Papatya Bucak’s dreamlike narratives, dead girls recount the effects of an earthquake and a chess-playing automaton falls in love. A student stops eating and no one knows whether her act is personal or political. A Turkish wrestler, a hero in the East, is seen as a brute in the West. The anguish of an Armenian refugee is “performed” at an American fundraiser. An Ottoman ambassador in Paris amasses a tantalizing collection of erotic art. And in the masterful title story, the Greek god Apollo confronts his personal history and bewails his Homeric reputation as he tries to memorialize, and make sense of, generations of war.

A joy and a provocation, Bucak’s stories confront the nature of historical memory with humor and humanity. Surreal and poignant, they examine the tension between myth and history, cultural categories and personal identity, performance and authenticity.


Ayse Papatya Bucak earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at ASU in 1999.

Praise for this book

"The 10 stories in Bucak’s beguiling debut play with traditional narrative forms and explore the author’s Turkish roots. Bucak’s remarkable, inventive and humane debut marks her as a writer to watch."

Publishers Weekly

“One of the best and most surprising collections I’ve read in a long time. This is a wonder cabinet of stories so singular and marvelous that I spent a long time after each, wanting to linger in the space it had created.”

Kelly Link
Author of "Get in Trouble"