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Topic: Istanbul... Constantinople... Byzantium....The Ottoman Empire

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Subject: Istanbul... Constantinople... Byzantium....The Ottoman Empire
Date Posted: 8/30/2011 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2010
Posts: 128
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Anyone have either travel tips for Istanbul

or book recommendations?

I'm trying to do a little reading - novels set in Istanbul/ Constantinople or good, not too labored, histories of Constantinople or Byzantium would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Date Posted: 8/31/2011 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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You might take a look at a novel set in modern-day Turkey entitled Snow, by Orhan Pamuk.  He is the Turkish writer who recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature. 

A previous book of his was a "period piece", a kind of historical murder mystery set in that part of the world, about five centuries ago.  I thought it interesting-----it is called My Name Is Red.  It is about the painters of those highly stylized miniatures that illustrated one of those gorgeous, labor-intensive books that a ruler would commission as evidence of his greatness.  The painters would lose their eyesight preparing such a book . . . .while in the "Western world" the pin-hole camera was already in use, aiding Italian portraitists to do their fabulous canvases.

 



Last Edited on: 8/31/11 8:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2011 3:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2010
Posts: 128
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Thanks, Bonnie.

I've added them to my list.

Subject: Mysteries set in Istanbul
Date Posted: 5/14/2012 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Barbara Nadel has written several police procedurals set in Istanbul, starting with Belshazzar's Daughter. Jason Goodwin wrote an excellent  history of Turkey (Lord of the Horizon), and also a series of historical mysteries set in Istanbul, starting with The Janissary Tree. For something bizarre, you might try Mehmet Murat Sohmer's mysteries about a transvestite nightclub owner in modern Istanbul, starting with The Kiss Murder.



Last Edited on: 6/4/12 9:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/23/2012 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2010
Posts: 128
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Fantastic suggestions, Margaret. As a mystery buff, I love the idea of a series se there. Thanks!
Subject: Books about Turkey
Date Posted: 6/4/2012 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Jason Goodwin, who wrote fiction and nonfiction about Turkey, published a list of 10 best books about Turkey in The Guardian. I stumbled across it whien I googled on "Jason Goodwin" + books, to see if he'd written another in his mystery series that I like so much. (No, alas) Maybe  his list would give you some more reading suggestions.

Date Posted: 11/16/2016 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,754
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Julian by Gore Vidal