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 trans-national 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 literature.