Mary Settle offers us an intimate portrait of a Turkey rarely seen-a land where the cutting of a tree is a crime, where goats are sacrificed to launch state-of-the-art ships, and where whole towns emerge at dusk to stroll in the streets. She finds ancient monasteries converted into discos, underground cities carved out of rock, and sleek jet-set ...
Mary Settle offers us an intimate portrait of a Turkey rarely seen-a land where the cutting of a tree is a crime, where goats are sacrificed to launch state-of-the-art ships, and where whole towns emerge at dusk to stroll in the streets. She finds ancient monasteries converted into discos, underground cities carved out of rock, and sleek jet-set yachts alongside camels piled high with copper pots. She follows in the footsteps of emperors and nomads, sultans and shepherds; explores the trails blazed by Alexander the Great, Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, and Ataturk. "Turkish Reflections" is a cross-country odyssey into history, legend, mystery, and myth.
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The very best book for anyone contemplating a trip to Turkey, or someone who has been there and wants to relive fond memories. It is clear the author loves Turkey. She knows its history, and has that special knack for interweaving the now and the then. Her descriptions are beautiful and loving, even when she describes poverty or political problems, because she understands history. Her curiosity and delight fascinated me. i felt as if I was right there beside her, and when I had to put the book down, it was with that dreamlike reluctance to return to real life. Definitely a keeper. I will pick this up over and over again to steep myself in that ancient culture.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-04-27 Hauntingly poetic evocations of Turkey and its people from the National Book Award winner for Blood Tie . (June)
Publishers Weekly, 1991-04-19 In an exotic, engaging journey deep into the heart of Turkey, Settle, who won a 1978 National Book Award for her novel Blood Tie (set in Turkey), revisits a country where past and present are everywhere intertwined. Contradicting the unflattering Western stereotypes of Turks, she depicts a people she admires for their capacity for friendship, their essential warmth and honesty. Istanbul, noisy and frantic, is also ``as polite and friendly as a country village,'' and tough-skinned rural folk are ``almost naively gentle'' beneath their exterior harshness. Settle's hauntingly poetic evocation of a people and place is filled with moments of quiet rapture as she inspects the remains of ancient kingdoms, retraces the paths of Seljuk sultan Aladdin, dips in thermal baths and views mosques and churches, castles, sphinxes and the prison where Nazim Hikmet, Turkey's finest modern poet, was imprisoned for his work. (June)
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