Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey

( 10 )

Overview

As the Western world struggles to comprehend the paradoxes of modern Turkey, Tales from the Expat Harem reveals its most personal nuances. This illuminating anthology provides a window into the country from the perspective of thirty-two expatriates from seven different nations—artists, entrepreneurs, Peace Corps volunteers, archaeologists, missionaries, and others—who established lives in Turkey for work, love, or adventure. Through narrative essays covering the last four decades, these diverse women unveil the ...

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Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey

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Overview

As the Western world struggles to comprehend the paradoxes of modern Turkey, Tales from the Expat Harem reveals its most personal nuances. This illuminating anthology provides a window into the country from the perspective of thirty-two expatriates from seven different nations—artists, entrepreneurs, Peace Corps volunteers, archaeologists, missionaries, and others—who established lives in Turkey for work, love, or adventure. Through narrative essays covering the last four decades, these diverse women unveil the mystique of the “Orient,” describe religious conflict, embrace cultural discovery, and maneuver familial traditions, customs, and responsibilities. Poignant, humorous, and transcendent, the essays take readers to weddings and workplaces, down cobbled Byzantine streets, into boisterous bazaars along the Silk Road, and deep into the feminine stronghold of steamy Ottoman bathhouses. The outcome is a stunning collection of voices from women suspended between two homes as they redefine their identities and reshape their worldviews.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580051552
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/12/2006
  • Series: Seal Women's Travel Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 293
  • Sales rank: 528,038
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Losing my gender at Troy 3
Orienting express 10
Hello, I love you 24
The painting or the boy 37
Conversion in Erzurum 46
The beat of a different drummer 56
Coming clean in Kayseri 71
Haze 75
The goddess metamorphosis 91
FeminIstanbul 98
Forever after, for now 109
Village bride 117
A fine kettle of fish 129
Trying the knot, Ottoman princess-style 136
Dancing my way home 151
From the hip 160
The language of family 169
The food factory 179
Cherry pie 189
Water under the bridge 197
The business of the bazaar 209
Unpacking the Pazar Arabasi 218
Ankara's fertile ground 231
A mother's charms 238
Evil eye exorcism 245
Rescued by village intelligence 253
The headman's pajamas 259
Hijacked 269
Failed missionary 274
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2006

    A book for the ages

    It seems so many cultures are willfully misunderstanding each other these days, refusing to see what values they might have in common, or even what they might learn from each other. So it's wonderful to discover a book like this, which holds the key to understanding a Muslim culture from the perspective of mostly Western women. And even though it's jam packed with accurate and eye-opening cultural information about both Turkey and the backgrounds of the writers, it reads like the best 'pleasure reading', familiar and full of laughs, the kind of thing you'll want to zip through in a few hours!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    Soon to be an Oprah Book Club book!

    I was fortunate to get this book in Istanbul from a friend... it is one of the best gifts I've ever received! I immediately bought 10 more copies and sent them to everyone I know who has ever wondered what my life here in Turkey is like, who ever wanted to travel (or does travel), and anyone who just enjoys a good story. If you have been a foreigner living abroad (or want to know what it's like), you will laugh out loud at the adventures these women have. As these women stake out their new lives and determine how-- and how much-- to assimilate, you feel you are right there with them. So many of the things that happened to them resonate with my own experiences, I felt as if I was reading about my own life! There are few books about American (or other nationality) expatriates that deal so honestly yet so enthusiastically about the experience of being a foreigner-- especially about being someone who really wants to learn to embrace the new country they live in. There is evidence of true cultural understanding in every story. I can't recommend this book highly enough!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2006

    Very enlightening...a timeless glimpse at women who bridge a culture gap

    This book will make you laugh and make you cry, engaging all of your senses. It lures you into a delightful world that is both ancient & exotic as well as contemporary & urbane. The experiences these women have are strangely unique to us westerners. The writing is exceptional and held my interest througout. I didn't want it to end.

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