Tales From the Expat Harem

Tales From the Expat Harem

Foreign Women in Modern Turkey

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
As the Western world struggles to comprehend the paradoxes of modern Turkey, 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. Through narrative essays covering the last four decades, these diverse women unveil the mystique of the 'Orient,' describe religious conflict, embrace cultural discovery,and maneuver familial traditions, customs, and responsibilities. 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.
Publisher: Emeryville, CA : Seal Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2006
ISBN: 9781580051552
Branch Call Number: 915.61 T14a
Characteristics: xvii, 293 p. : ill. ; 20 cm

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 06, 2017

This charming book is a wonderful introduction to Turkey from point of view of a variety of Western women. All had slightly different reasons for going to Turkey, from having married a Turk they met in school in the West, to a desire for adventure or to learn the language, Turkish dance, or set up a business. Some began with apprehension, but all were won over by some aspect of Turkish culture--maybe not at all what they were expecting to like. Some stories I liked better than others, but my favorites all had to do with unexpected friendliness. One woman, for instance, new to a tiny town, knowing no one, came down with the flu and couldn't take care of herself. A family, noticing that the snow had not been shoveled, came to see if she needed help, and took care of her. In another case, a woman who knew not a word of Turkish was afraid she was being kidnapped when a bus driver wouldn't let her off the bus at her stop before dawn. But he took her to the home of friends, who fed her, then took her back to the town when her hotel opened. She realized she wasn't being kidnapped, but being taken care of.

Jul 23, 2015

Enjoyed most of the stories, especially the funny ones. Most are like me, women who have married Turkish men. If I didn't like one writer just a few pages away was another.

May 21, 2013

I loved this book! I read it before my trip to Turkey and it made me eager to visit. The women all had interesting stories to tell.

May 03, 2011

I LOVE this book! If you have ever traveled to Turkey and fallen in love with it, as I have, and enjoyed Turksih cuisine and Turkish people and music and dance and landscape, read this book. Also, if you have ever married outside your own culture, as I have, you will relate to much of these authors' experiences.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top