Author Archive

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

Satire as Survival: The Necessity of Humor in Turkey Today

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We’ve been told not to use the metro. We’ve lived through warnings during Nevruz, the Kurdish New Year, to not go out due to potential clashes on the streets. The German Consulate and German schools in Istanbul shut down for two days ahead of the weekend due to a

Review: İSTANBUL İSTANBUL by Burhan Sönmez, translated by Ümit Hussein

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İstanbul İstanbul Burhan Sönmez, translated by Ümit Hussein OR Books, May 2016 192 pp, $18 Buy: paperback | eBook Unlike in New York, where managing to live in the city for ten years grants one the status of being a New Yorker, rarely will you meet a person living

Mirrored Crisis: Contemporary Immigration and Atticus Lish’s PREPARATION FOR THE NEXT LIFE

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Most of us who now call ourselves Americans were at one point something else, or else we owe our citizenship to family members who immigrated. In the brouhaha of fear following the Paris attacks however, this has almost entirely been forgotten, adding more steps to an already long process for any refugee

Mirrored Crisis: Post-Trauma Diaspora Memory through Jonathan Safran Foer’s EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED

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The aftermath of war and displacement is often a diaspora, the literal scattering of a group’s seeds far from the tree of origins. However to call that wrenching of branches, as was discussed in Part I of this series (Mirrored Crisis: What Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex can show us about today’s

Mirrored Crisis: What Jeffrey Eugenides’s MIDDLESEX can show us about today’s refugee crisis

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We’ve been here before. The scenes we’ve seen and read about in the refugee crisis that has overwhelmed Eastern and Western Europe—Alan Kurdi cradled by the Turkish officer, people bearing their possessions on their backs held back by border police, and the drowned misery of the camps in Lesvos—have