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American Writers in Istanbul
Melville, Twain, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Bowles, Algren, and Baldwin

Kim Fortuny

Cloth $34.95s    |    978-0-8156-3236-8    |    2009

"Penetrating analyses of a variety of texts that prove beyond doubt that western views of Istanbul tell us as much about the writers’ cultural preoccupations as the cultures they attempt to describe."—Journal of American Culture

"Fortuny brings considerable knowledge and skill to the handling of such disparate writers spanning nearly one hundred and fifty years of American letters."—American Studies Journal

"Fortuny’s book does an excellent job of exposing, and responding to, the hidden agendas and cultural blind spots of a long historical relationship between the city and various American identities and concerns."—American Literary History

"A glimpse across time into the city of Istanbul as seen through the lenses of several American writers. It reflects the changing modes of American fiction and the equally shifting cultural attitudes that are to be found in the progression of their writings. And therein lies its value."—Roger Allen, from the Foreword

A westerner writing about Istanbul "comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual second," writes Edward Said. The American writers gathered in this collection are approached from the willed double perspective advocated by Said: as historically and culturally positioned and as individuals. Looking at texts by writers who do not necessarily define themselves as Orientalists, Kim Fortuny broadens the possible ways of thinking about this complex, idiosyncratic city of the world. In addition, the author’s close critical readings of the works of seven canonical American writers who came to Istanbul and wrote about it offer a transnational approach to American writing that urges a loosening of a collective, national grip on literature as a product of place. This volume will be an invaluable addition to the history of American literature.

View other books about Contemporary Issues in the Middle East

Kim Fortuny is assistant professor of English at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is the author of Elizabeth Bishop: The Art of Travel.

6 x 9, 224 pages, 22 black-and-white illustrations, notes, bibliography, index

American Writers in Istanbul

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