Turkish Reflections: A Biography of a Place

Overview

After a twenty-year absence, Mary Lee Settle returns to the land she calls the happiest home she has ever known. A land of intersecting continents, cultures, and contradictions, Turkey beckons her on a cross-country journey, in search of the country's soul--a personal odyssey into history, legend, rumor, and myth. Excerpts appearing in Traveler, The New York Times Magazine and Travel and Leisure.
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Overview

After a twenty-year absence, Mary Lee Settle returns to the land she calls the happiest home she has ever known. A land of intersecting continents, cultures, and contradictions, Turkey beckons her on a cross-country journey, in search of the country's soul--a personal odyssey into history, legend, rumor, and myth. Excerpts appearing in Traveler, The New York Times Magazine and Travel and Leisure.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hauntingly poetic evocations of Turkey and its people from the National Book Award winner for Blood Tie . (June)
Library Journal
Long neglected by tourists, Turkey has now become a popular destination and one that is inspiring some excellent travel writing. A country of rich layered history, much of which is still evident to the trained eye, it especially attracts those with antiquarian interests. This is a knowledgeable and affectionate portrait by an American novelist who has done her homework. Her visits, 15 years apart, enabled her to record, among other things, the impact that tourism is having on traditional cultures and landscapes. This thoughtful book deserves to be on any serious reading list on Turkey.-- Harold M. Otness, Southern Ore gon State Coll. Lib., Ashland
Kirkus Reviews
Everyone, it seems, wanted a piece of this superior travelogue by the National Book Award-winning author of Blood Tie, The Beulah Quintet, and Celebration—which is why parts of it are slated to run in Traveler, The New York Times Magazine, and Travel and Leisure. And though the book's subject is a hermetic land, hardly a main contender among fabled destinations, Settle works real magic on it, as clearly Turkey worked on her. She went there first in the early Seventies, a refugee from hostile gangs of teens on a Greek island where she'd intended to write a novel. In the port town of Bodrun she found solace, $l0- a-day coast cruises, and, above all, Anatolian friends. And if, on her return some 20 years later, Bodrun's recent C"te d'Azur- ish make-over disappoints her, the rest of Settle's wanderings do not. Istanbul is her first stop, where she visits the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia; muses on the Venetian Sack of Constantinople and the genius of the l6th-century architect Sinan; and even hazards a scrub-down in a Turkish bath. Then it's on to the Black Sea, where Settle demonstrates her splendid fluency with history, literature, and myth (recalling that this coast was once the witch Medea's home). From there she plots a crescent course into the mountainous heart of Turkey, searching for remains of the Seljuk empire, ending up back on the coast listening for echoes of the Hittites, climbing Mt. Latmos, making friends, and, always, loving Turkey. Settle's eye for perfect detail never fails (the sacrificial sheep slaughtered even at modern-day ship launchings, the taste of Turkish wine). But, more, she does for Turkey what only the most accomplished travel writers do: shows whyit is a place that must be visited, then makes it seem as if her readers have just come home from there.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671779979
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 6/15/1992
  • Series: Destinations Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 460,119
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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