Author Archive

Translating Turkish: An Interview with Poet and Translator Derick Mattern

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In the first of several interviews with translators in the “Translating Turkish” series, I talk to Derick Mattern, an accomplished poet, now also a translator of Turkish poetry who brings a deep knowledge of Turkish and his poet chops to his translating work.

The Three Percent 10 Years Later: An Interview with Chad Post

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Since Chad Post, founding publisher of Open Letter Books, created The Three Percent blog in 2007, the term the “three percent” has become a household one to highlight the percentage of translated books published in the United States. A decade on, the blog has expanded to include a yearly

An End-of-2016 Books in Translation Reading Wishlist

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Despite having read and enjoyed works in translation like Christos Ikonomou's Something Will Happen, You'll See and Burhan Sönmez's İstanbul, İstanbul, I know that the full range of works in translation this year alone is vast (580 books according to Three Percent's 2016 database).

A Blackout By Any Other Name

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A year and a half ago, most of Turkey lost power. 80 of its 81 provinces, excluding Van, suddenly had no electricity. Since power outages in Istanbul are fairly frequent, that morning as I was out helping my then boyfriend get a tax number in central Istanbul, the lack

The Impact of Expat Writers in Uncertain Times: Lawrence Durrell

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Lawrence Durrell's life-long relationship with Greece began early. Like Patrick Leigh Fermor, he too was the product of British colonialism, having been born in Jalandar, a case that may be more common than is often realized in thinking about Britain's involvement in India.

The Impact of Expat Writers in Uncertain Times: Patrick Leigh Fermor

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The year was 1944. Special Operations Executive officer Patrick “Paddy” Leigh Fermor, having spent a year in Cairo, returned to the occupied island of Crete to kidnap a German general. The incident would come to be known as the Kidnap, or Abduction, of General Kreipe.

Looking for Cavafy in Istanbul

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When I first set out to find C.P. Cavafy’s maternal home five years ago, my friends and I figured heading to the local church in Neochori (present day Yeniköy) would yield the best results. The Alexandrian Greek poet had spent three years of his life, from 1882 to 1885,

John Freely and a New Generation of Expats

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The era of the carefree expat has passed. This is not to say that being an expat is impossible today, but to say that with tightening visa requirements and economic downturns, staying abroad after initially being bitten by that desire either requires outright deliberation or hefty doses of chance.

How One Publisher Sparked a Rebirth of Turkey’s Greek History

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On the flight back to Istanbul, I hold one of the first books put out by Istos Publishing in my hands. Out of the press’s slim, silver-colored bilingual Greek-Turkish edition of Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Ascetic (Ασκητική-Çileci), the publishing house’s logo pops out in gold, almost holographic. I turn the

“I know that reality and truth are not always the same thing”: An Interview with Christos Ikonomou

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Christos Ikonomou is the author of three short story collections, including Something Will Happen, You’ll See (Archipelago Books, trans. Karen Emmerich, 2016), for which he won the National Short Story Prize. Something Will Happen, You’ll See, a devastating and sparingly written collection of stories about the Greek crisis in