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James Baldwin’s Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile Paperback – 16 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press (16 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822341670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822341673
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,637,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Illustrated with stunning photographs, James Baldwin's Turkish Decade presents fascinating and little-known details about Baldwin's Turkey and offers a new way of reading his works from the 1960s to the early 1970s. A small, throwaway reference to Istanbul in Another Country now appears momentous." Werner Sollors, Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English and African American Studies, Harvard University "Magdalena J. Zaborowska's excellent scholarship unearths new and little-known material about James Baldwin's time in Turkey, particularly through her interviews with Baldwin's friends and colleagues in Istanbul. Her original analyses of Baldwin's work in the context of his Turkish experiences are also outstanding." David Leeming, author of James Baldwin: A Biography "Drawing on oral history, archival research, literary analysis, cultural studies, and personal narrative/(auto)ethnography, Magdalena J. Zaborowska renders a multitextured reading of James Baldwin's years in Istanbul. No one else has so thoroughly examined the influence of those years on Baldwin's work, and anyone who comes after will have to cite Zaborowska. And I dare say that no one will be able to capture this story as well as she has. James Baldwin's Turkish Decade will change the field of Baldwin studies." --E. Patrick Johnson, co-editor of Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology<br /><br />In 'James Baldwin's Turkish Decade', Magdalena J. Zaborowska, a professor of immigrant and African-American literature, sets out to explain not only the enduring attraction the city had for Baldwin but its importance for the rest of his career...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...she makes us feel how necessary such a refuge was as the sixties wore on. --Claudia Roth Pierpont, The New Yorker, 9th Feb 2009

"Magdalena J. Zaborowska s scholarly yet personal new book fills in details of an important but little explored period in the life of James Baldwin...Zaborowska's study is the first to focus completely on Turkey and the impact that living in a country "not east or west" had on the author s work...some of the richest and most illuminating writing on the author...Overall, with its wealth of personal insights, and highlighted by evocative photographs, extensive notes, and a wide ranging bibliography, Magdalena Zaborowska's work gives us an ultimately valuable addition to our understanding of the life and work of James Baldwin." --Reginald Harris, Lambda Literary Foundation, Sept 2009

Review

“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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