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Tales from the Expat Harem

Tales from the Expat Harem

Author(s): Anastasia M Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gökmen

Location(s): Turkey

Genre(s): Travelogue

Era(s): Modern



This is a timely anthology on being female expats in a Muslim country – and how the Turkish landscape, psyche, people, and customs have transformed their lives. As the Western world struggles to comprehend the paradoxes of modern Turkey, a country both European and Asian, forward-looking yet rooted in ancient empire, “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. 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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“The beauty of Tales is that each story paints Turkey as the narrator experiences it, and, together, the stories construct a portrait of a people and their place.” — National Geographic Traveler, July/August 2006

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