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To the Islands

Alber Sabanoglu, G86, is a true global citizen. Growing up in Turkey, he then obtained his B.A. and M.S. in the U.S., and now teaches mathematics in Spain. His story “To the Islands” was recently published in translation in the January 2012 edition of Words Without Borders.

It was a clear, peaceful day. The sky was blue, with patches of violet clouds toward the horizon, and the sea was like a darker sheet with small wrinkles on the surface, which showed that the wind came from the south from the islands. Facing the front of the boat, those islands looked like distant, mysterious lands: half-legendary, hidden behind a mist which revealed only their main curves. But the two children knew that the islands could also look different: there were days when the play of the light made the houses of the first—easternmost—island seem almost within a hand’s reach. It was hard to know which of the two views was an illusion, since there were no ferry lines from that part of the mainland to the islands. As for the small boats, it was forbidden for the children, and unthinkable for the grownups, to go beyond an invisible line near the end of the bay with them.

Read the rest of the story, and explore other works of contemporary international literature on the Words Without Borders site.

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