FIND A COPY You can get this book as a Seal Press paperback through Amazon here, numerous online retailers and actual bookstores, the Kindle edition here, for Sony eReader, and as an Apple iBook. For the visually impaired we have a large print version here. It’s also stocked in 186 libraries in 7 countries around the world.
[18 months, 2 expat writers, one feminist travel anthology with three editions. Our first book! A bestseller. How'd we do it? Read the story of making Tales from the Expat Harem]
+”An excellent holiday read.” – Lonely Planet Turkey (10th Edition)
+”Beautifully written, thought-provoking and inspiring. Be ready to book a flight to Istanbul afterwards.” – Daily Telegraph (UK)
+”Insights from women who learn to read the cultural fine print… Valuable today as an antidote to bigotry, it will serve as an even more valuable corrective to the blinkered historians of tomorrow.” – Cornucopia
+“Comic, romantic, and thought-provoking.” – Cosmopolitan (Turkey)
+“Not only aesthetically pleasing but instructive. A great read! Don’t miss it.” – Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies
+“Rip-roarer of a guide to understanding Eastern and Western social values.” – The Gulf Today (United Arab Emirates)
+“Charming, warm-hearted and vivid…a definite must-read for everyone pondering the question of what it is we call ‘home’.” – NRC Handelsblad (The Netherlands)
This anthology “successfully transcends the cultural stereotypes so deeply-embedded in perceptions of the Eastern harem.” – from the foreword by Elif Shafak (Turkish editions only) November 2010: Turkey’s most-read author Elif Shafak picks Expat Harem as one of her best five books on Turkey
+Edited by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gökmen
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, this critically-acclaimed collection invites you into the Turkey that thirty-two women from seven nations know.
Australian and Central American, North American and British, Dutch and Pakistani, our narrators demonstrate the evolutions Turkish culture has shepherded in their lives and the issues raised by assimilation into friendship, neighborhood, wifehood, motherhood.
[Hospitality] Delirious with influenza, a friendless Australian realizes the value of misafir perverlik, traditional Turkish hospitality, when she’s rescued from her freezing rental by unknown Anatolian neighbors bearing food and medicinal tea
[Family] A pregnant and introverted Irishwoman faces the challenge of finding her place in a large Black Sea clan
[Cultural Taboo] A Peace Corps volunteer in remote Eastern Turkey realizes how the taboos of her own culture color her perceptions about modesty and motherhood
[Femininity] A liberated New York single questions the gallant rules of engagement on the Istanbul dating scene, wondering whether being treated like a lady makes her less a feminist
…from a Bryn Mawr archaeologist at Troy to the Christian missionary in Istanbul, clothing designers and scholars along the Aegean and the Mediterranean coastlines, a journalist at the Iraqi border, Expat Harem’s writers revisit their professional assumptions.
SPANS COUNTRY + 40 YEARS
Humorous and poignant travelogue takes you to weddings and workplaces, down cobbled Byzantine streets, into boisterous bazaars along the Silk Road and deep into the feminine powerbases of steamy Ottoman hamam bathhouses. Subtext illuminates journeys of the soul. Peruse the chapters.
ANACHRONISTIC TITLE = WESTERN STEREOTYPE + KINSHIP
Expat Harem notes the erroneous — yet prevalent — Western stereotypes about Asia Minor and the entire Muslim world, while declaring the writers are akin to foreign brides of the Seraglio, the 15th century seat of the Ottoman sultanate:
Expat Harem writers are wedded to the culture of the land, embedded in it, yet alien.
From the introduction:
Threshold to worlds both East and West, Turkey is itself a unique metaphor for transition. Forming a geographic bridge between the continents of Europe and Asia and a philosophical link between the spheres of Occident and Orient, Turkey is neither one of the places it connects.
EXPAT HAREM WOMEN RECLASSIFY THEMSELVES
Foreign women on Turkish soil are neither what nor who they used to be, yet not fully transformed by their brush with Turkey. Aligned in their ever-shifting contexts, both Turkey and the expatriate share a bond of constant metamorphosis.
Expat Harem women are challenged to redefine their lives, definitions of spirituality, femininity, sensuality and self.
One editor’s story behind the book: The Accidental Anthologist
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