Sema Kaygusuz is one of Turkey’s leading female writers. Her debut novel, Yere Düsen Dualar (Wine and Gold) won international recognition upon publication in 2006. In 2007, she wrote the screenplay for Yesim Ustaoglu's film Pandora’nin Kutusu (Pandora’s Box), which won the Golden Shell at the 2008 International Film Festival in San Sebastian. Her first short story collection, Ortadan Yarisindan (In the Middle of the Half, 2007) explored the struggles of characters grappling with disagreeable or concealed aspects of their personalities. The two following collections, Sandik Lekesi (Box Stain) and Doyma Noktasi (Saturation Point), established Sema Kaygusuz as a distinctive voice in the canon of young Turkish literature in the new millennium, which concerns itself increasingly with questions of identity and individuality.
Her novel, Yüzünde Bir Yer (A Spot on Your Face), was inspired by her own grandmother, and deals with the feelings of shame and guilt experienced by someone who survives a massacre. Kaygusuz is a recipient of both the Cevdet-Kudret-Literature Award and the France-Turquie Literary Award.