cover image The Anthropologists

The Anthropologists

Ayşegül Savaş. Bloomsbury, $24.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-63973-306-4

In the exceptional latest from Savaş (White on White), an idealistic young couple flounders in their half-hearted effort to put down roots in an unnamed city far from their respective homelands. Asya, who makes “joyful and naïve” documentaries about everyday life, met fellow international student Manu in college. Since graduation, they’ve been renting a small, dark apartment in the city, and now decide they’re ready to buy their own place. They visit a range of listings, including a converted factory, a house in the suburbs, and an apartment off of an alley, the last of which they conclude is perfect except for the layout, which feels wrong in a way they can’t articulate. Though they want to step further into adulthood, they also want to preserve their youth, and they chafe at the willful conformity of their peers. Their friend Ravi, who patches together a living with tutoring gigs and collects old photographs, is a kindred spirit. So is their elderly neighbor, Tereza, with whom they read poetry. Savaş captures the singularity of the couple’s logic in lucid prose, and the real estate search gives shape to the spare and subtle narrative, as the couple’s indecisiveness and their affection for Ravi and Tereza keep readers guessing as to what they’ll do. It’s a masterpiece. Agent: Sarah Bowlin, Aevitas Creative Management. (July)