Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jenny White's latest book: the Winter Thief

In life you meet many people. Jenny is to me the classic example of leaving a footprint in very positive sustain. We met for the first time in the summer of 2008, when Ö and I just moved from the busy area of Macka to the suburbs of Istanbul, Tarabya. I picked her up with my small Lancia to meet another anthropologist and friend, Erkan Saka. She didn’t stop talking and I didn’t stopped listening! We had a nice encounter the three of us and met on several social occasions later before she moved back to Boston the end of 2008. But we stayed in touch!

Last week she announced that her last book ‘The Winter Thief’ was released. Her fourth in a series of Kamil Pasha’s: The Winter Thief

About the Winter Thief;
January 1888. Vera Arti carries The Communist Manifesto in Armenian through Istanbul’s streets, unaware of the men following her. When the police discover a shipload of guns and the Imperial Ottoman Bank is blown up, suspicion falls on a socialist commune Arti’s friends organized in the eastern mountains. Special Prosecutor Kamil Pasha is called in to investigate. He soon encounters his most ruthless adversary to date: Vahid, head of a special branch of the secret police, who has convinced the sultan that the commune is leading a secessionist movement and should be destroyed—along with surrounding villages. Kamil must stop the massacre, but he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, framed for murder and accused of treason, his family and the woman he loves threatened.
More about Jenny White here and here.

Besides writing fiction, Jenny is an Associat Professor teaching social anthropology at Boston University . She has published two scholarly books on contemporary Turkey: Money Makes Us Relatives, a description of women’s labor in urban Turkey in the 1980s, was published in 1994 and Islamist Mobilization in Turkey was published in 2002. It explains the rise of Islamic politics in Turkey in the 1990s and won the 2003 Douglass Prize for best book in Europeanist anthropology. At the moment she finalize her study about Turkish nationalism.

Turkey: A Nation of Conspiracies

Below an article by Claire Berlinski, an American novelist, freelance journalist, travel writer and biographer who lives amid a menagerie of adopted stray animals in Istanbul.
If you live in Turkey for a while you know exactly were she's talking about; the conspiracies, paranoia behavior, corruption and fear. It took me some years to understand what really was going on around me; Turkish people always warned me for the other Turkish person and always told me: 'don't trust anyone'. Later I discovered that people who warned me the most, were also less reliable than others. Enfin, enjoy this perfect article published in the Wall Street Journal of yesterday: A Nation of Conspiracies; Coup plots and growing extremism. Why the West can't ignore Turkey's paranoia.

Last fall, having observed that few women in Istanbul took martial-arts classes, I conceived the idea to work with local instructors on creating a women's self-defense initiative. My project met with initial enthusiasm, particularly among women concerned with the high rate of domestic violence in Turkey. But other martial arts instructors in the city grew uneasy, sensing a plot to swindle them out of their small pieces of the martial-arts pie. Istanbul quickened with lunatic rumors that the initiative was a conspiracy to disparage the other instructors' martial prowess and steal their students. Martial-arts cliques consumed themselves with plotting and counter-plotting. Secret tribunals were held, covert alliances formed, poison-pen letters sent, friends betrayed. I gave up in disgust.
And there is moreeee herrreeee

Day Opening - March 14

Andalucia, Spain (will be here in a couple of weeks)