The Vomiting Club

In his novel Kusma Kulübü (2004, The Vomiting Club) Eroğlu portrays the consequences of the loss of social conscience as he tells the story of a group of people who have established an organization that takes the side of poverty and conscience against wealth. Eroğlu collected and incorporated into the novel news items on poverty—such stories as babies starving to death and mothers committing suicide for not being able to buy milk for their children. The events in the novel are told by a first person narrator, Umut Çinici. Another voice, which he later names his “twin,” interrupts the story and reveals his inner turmoil. The woman at the center of the events is Nihan, who founded and has been leading the secret organization.

The son of a worker from İznik, Umut Çinici had come to Istanbul with dreams of achieving fame and riches as an actor, but his life changes once he meets Nihan. Umut becomes the last member of the Vomiting Club—the name a metaphor that signifies their intense reaction against the social injustices and inequalities in society. The novel follows Umut’s transformation into a person who “makes his conscience the God of his passions.”

The novel has several notable minor characters, including those who in part are responsible for the corruption of society such as the journalist, Betül Bengil (B.B); the newspaper publishing director, Ercüment Cantürk; and the sensational TV reporter, Selami Balat. The cast also includes other members of the Vomiting Club, who have suffered and endured tragedy in their lives, including Melek, who is blinded for a second time by police burning her fingers during interrogation so that she would no longer be able to read the Braille alphabet; Zilan, who lost her mind because of the tortures she survived; Selim, who is hopelessly in love with Zilan; and Kadir, who lost his only child and could never have another. These lonely and hopeless characters have the ability to feel pity; they are people who suffer for others. Another important attribute of this novel is that it is strongly critical of the Turkish media.