‘Emine’ Sevgi Özdamar was born in Turkey in 1946. She came to Germany as a young adult to pursue her interest in German theater. In the mid-1970s she worked in the Volksbühne in East-Berlin, and with Benno Besson, a Brecht student, in Paris and in Avignon. During her engagement in the Schauspielhaus Bochum under director Claus Peymann, she was commissioned to write her first play in 1982: Karagöz in Alamania. After she published her short stories collection Mothertongue (1990) and another play for the theater, she was awarded the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for parts of her first novel, Life is a Caravanserai (1992).
Özdamar’s The Bridge of the Golden Horn (1998) reflect on the time around 1968 in Turkey and in Germany up until the German Autumn. The situation in her homeland, akin to a civil war, resulted in a disinclination towards her own language. She fled to Germany. It was there, in the familiar, intensive atmosphere of the theater, and with her fierce feminist and queer companions, she learned the words she would later write with. And she speaks beautifully of that time in her novel Strange Stars Turn to Earth (2003).