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The Turk and My Mother

From W. W. Norton & Company/
Winner of the 2005 John Gardner Book Award/
Translated Editions in Italian, Dutch, Hebrew, Hungarian, Croatian, Indonesian, & Turkish/
An Amazon #1 Bestselling Ebook in Russian historical fiction

Four generations come to vivid life in pages spanning the entire 20th century, from the outer reaches of Siberia to the heartland of America. The sheer, indulgent pleasure of storytelling gives shape to this multi-layered comic novel about an immigrant family's secret history.

"You don't just read The Turk and My Mother," says Jane Glaser, book club coordinator at Next Chapter Books in Mequon, Wisconsin. "You participate in it, like one of the characters, eavesdropping on family secrets that may or may not be meant for your ears."

"In this magical book, life and love triumph over loss and pain, and a big new literary talent arrives. For Stefaniak, as for Alice Hoffman, we come to recognize that we are all immigrants in the territory of the human heart, following the thread of love through the labyrinth that takes us home--a journey across continents and history that is hilarious, heart-breaking, and deeply touching."

--Jonis Agee, author of Acts of Love on Indigo Road

"The Turk and My Mother reinvents the family saga and the art of storytelling as we know it."

--Lan Samantha Chang, author of The Family Chao

"The Turk and My Mother is a wild ride through a symphonic family history that carries you breathless with laughter and curiosity to a most satisfying conclusion."

--Sandra Scofield, author of Occasions of Sin: A Memoir

"The Turk and My Mother sparkles with originality, humor and insight. Mary Helen Stefaniak has a true gift for making the ordinary feel magical and the exotic feel hauntingly familiar. I love this novel!"

--Eilzabeth Stuckey-French, author of Mermaids on the Moon


"The beautiful voices in The Turk and My Mother speak to us across the generations with overwhelming intimacy. Written with humor and affection, Mary Helen Stefaniak's first novel breathes life into the hardhsips, secrets, and enduring love that bind an American family to its immigrant past."

--John Smolens, author of Day of Days


"With wonderful insights into the immigrant experience--and with a sense of humor that encourages the reader to laugh out loud--Mary Helen Stefaniak tells an unforgettable story."

--Eleanor Edmondson, president, Bas Bleu


"Stefaniak brings the immigrant experience to life and weaves together an intricately tangled plot. She exactly captures the difficulty of trying to get family stories unraveled."

--Daniel Goldin, owner of Boswell Books