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James Baldwin's Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile (Paperback)
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James Baldwin's Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile (Paperback)

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£21.99
Paperback 416 Pages / Published: 16/01/2009
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Between 1961 and 1971 James Baldwin spent extended periods of time in Turkey, where he worked on some of his most important books. In this first in-depth exploration of Baldwin's "Turkish decade," Magdalena J. Zaborowska reveals the significant role that Turkish locales, cultures, and friends played in Baldwin's life and thought. Turkey was a nurturing space for the author, who by 1961 had spent nearly ten years in France and Western Europe and failed to reestablish permanent residency in the United States. Zaborowska demonstrates how Baldwin's Turkish sojourns enabled him to re-imagine himself as a black queer writer and to revise his views of American identity and U.S. race relations as the 1960s drew to a close.

Following Baldwin's footsteps through Istanbul, Ankara, and Bodrum, Zaborowska presents many never published photographs, new information from Turkish archives, and original interviews with Turkish artists and intellectuals who knew Baldwin and collaborated with him on a play that he directed in 1969. She analyzes the effect of his experiences on his novel Another Country (1962) and on two volumes of his essays, The Fire Next Time (1963) and No Name in the Street (1972), and she explains how Baldwin's time in Turkey informed his ambivalent relationship to New York, his responses to the American South, and his decision to settle in southern France. James Baldwin's Turkish Decade expands the knowledge of Baldwin's role as a transnational African American intellectual, casts new light on his later works, and suggests ways of reassessing his earlier writing in relation to ideas of exile and migration.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822341673
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 235 x 152 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Of central importance is how Baldwin's so-called Turkish exile helped distance him from, while also focusing, his massive contradictions within a society of contradictions. . . . . Zaborowska . . . displays the fascinating, delicious thrill she received from the people she interviewed." - Publishers Weekly
"Zaborowska is a charming companion as she follows Baldwin's steps through Turkey, brimming with enthusiasm at the sights and at the warmth of her reception by his friends. . . . [S[he makes us feel how necessary such a refuge was as the sixties wore on." - Claudia Roth Pierpont, The New Yorker
"[I]nformative and enlightening. . . . Zaborowska's work will appeal to fans of Baldwin looking for an interesting take on the man's life. . . . Her dedication and passion does shine through in the time and effort she placed in writing this book. . . ." - Derek Beres, Popmatters
"Zaborowska takes great delight in detailing her subject's adventures in Turkey, vicariously bathing in the limelight of a distinguished, outspoken writer who pushed boundaries well before his time, and graced the homosexual world with writing that transcended both color and gender lines." - Jim Piechota, Bay Area Reporter
"[Zaborowska] scours [Baldwin's] works for hints of Istanbul; she visits his stomping grounds and entertainingly interviews various Turkish luminaries. . . . [H]er reporting reveals as much about Turkey as it does about Baldwin, as well as the connections between this fledgling nation and the growing shadow America had begun to cast across the globe." - Suzy Hansen, The National (Abu Dhabi)
"Zaborowska's book will make you want to reread Another Country and his later works with a new context of understanding. The book illuminates, with a scholar's focus and a writer's nuance, how Baldwin's exile in Istanbul was not simply a theme or escape from the racism and homophobia of the U.S., but also a deeply felt condition crucial to his intellectual and creative imagination. Indeed, the book reminds us that some of the most poignant and insightful writings about sexuality and race in the canon of American literature were composed well beyond our shores." - James Polchin, Gay and Lesbian Review/Worldwide
"Zaborowska's determined research and sharp interpretations recast Baldwin's entire life project and show how his Turkish sojourn rendered American conceptions of sexuality, race, and citizenship more clearly. [A] beautifully imagined book. . . . Zaborowska shows the discontiguous routes of one particular writer to that destination and beyond it. In doing so, she reminds us that often the destination is as displaced as the traveler."
- Shane Vogel, American Literature
"Magdalena Zaborowska persuasively argues that Baldwin's Turkish years-1961 and 1971-are key to understanding his career. . . . I found her deceptively simple argument arresting: although the broad outlines of Baldwin's Turkish years are well known, to date, no scholar has set out to foreground place and atmosphere of composition so extensively." - Tavia Nyong'o, American Quarterly
"[I]nformative and enlightening. . . . Zaborowska's work will appeal to fans of Baldwin looking for an interesting take on the man's life. . . . Her dedication and passion does shine through in the time and effort she placed in writing this book. . . ." -- Derek Beres * Popmatters *
"[Zaborowska] scours [Baldwin's] works for hints of Istanbul; she visits his stomping grounds and entertainingly interviews various Turkish luminaries. . . . [H]er reporting reveals as much about Turkey as it does about Baldwin, as well as the connections between this fledgling nation and the growing shadow America had begun to cast across the globe." -- Suzy Hansen * The National (Abu Dhabi) *
"Magdalena Zaborowska persuasively argues that Baldwin's Turkish years-1961 and 1971-are key to understanding his career. . . . I found her deceptively simple argument arresting: although the broad outlines of Baldwin's Turkish years are well known, to date, no scholar has set out to foreground place and atmosphere of composition so extensively." -- Tavia Nyong'o * American Quarterly *
"Of central importance is how Baldwin's so-called Turkish exile helped distance him from, while also focusing, his massive contradictions within a society of contradictions. . . . . Zaborowska . . . displays the fascinating, delicious thrill she received from the people she interviewed." * Publishers Weekly *
"Zaborowska is a charming companion as she follows Baldwin's steps through Turkey, brimming with enthusiasm at the sights and at the warmth of her reception by his friends. . . . [S[he makes us feel how necessary such a refuge was as the sixties wore on." -- Claudia Roth Pierpont * The New Yorker *
"Zaborowska takes great delight in detailing her subject's adventures in Turkey, vicariously bathing in the limelight of a distinguished, outspoken writer who pushed boundaries well before his time, and graced the homosexual world with writing that transcended both color and gender lines." -- Jim Piechota * Bay Area Reporter *
"Zaborowska's book will make you want to reread Another Country and his later works with a new context of understanding. The book illuminates, with a scholar's focus and a writer's nuance, how Baldwin's exile in Istanbul was not simply a theme or escape from the racism and homophobia of the U.S., but also a deeply felt condition crucial to his intellectual and creative imagination. Indeed, the book reminds us that some of the most poignant and insightful writings about sexuality and race in the canon of American literature were composed well beyond our shores." -- James Polchin * Gay and Lesbian Review/Worldwide *
"Zaborowska's determined research and sharp interpretations recast Baldwin's entire life project and show how his Turkish sojourn rendered American conceptions of sexuality, race, and citizenship more clearly. [A] beautifully imagined book. . . . Zaborowska shows the discontiguous routes of one particular writer to that destination and beyond it. In doing so, she reminds us that often the destination is as displaced as the traveler."
-- Shane Vogel * American Literature *

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