“Growing up in the ’80s…” Today, these are keywords for joyful and nostalgic YouTube videos. But was life all splendid back then? Surely not. Maybe others told you stories about 1980s Turkey. Or you have your own memories, just like Özge Samancı who shares her coming-of-age story in her graphic memoir Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey.
Dare to Disappoint tells Samancı’s own story of growing up in ’80s and ’90s Turkey. Her highly personal book also touches on social and political issues. Samancı’s childhood stories are interwoven with Turgut Özal’s era of market liberalization, the 1980 military coup and a dysfunctional, test-obsessed education system (goodbye dreams). Despite social norms and family expectations, she tries to hear her own voice and reminds us a very important question. Can we please everyone in life? What if we have to sacrifice our own desires?
If you also grew up in ’80s and ’90s Turkey, get ready to be moved while reading this book. Dare to Disappoint is also a great gift for those interested in Turkey’s recent history.
Dare to Disappoint is currently only in English, you can order it from Amazon or Pandora.
Özge Samancı illustrates her everyday thoughts and observations on her blog Ordinary Things. Follow and get inspired.