Turkey stands at the crossroads of the Middle East--caught between the West and ISIS, Syria and Russia, and governed by an increasingly forceful leader. Acclaimed writer Kaya Genc has been covering his country for the past decade. In Under the Shadow he meets activists from both sides of Turkey's political divide: Gezi park protestors who fought tear gas and batons to transform their country's future, and supporters of Erdogan's conservative vision who are no less passionate in their activism. He talks to artists and authors to ask whether the New Turkey is a good place to for them to live and work. He interviews censored journalists and conservative writers both angered by what has been going on in their country.He meets Turkey's Wall Street types who take to the streets despite the enormity of what they can lose as well as the young Islamic entrepreneurs who drive Turkey's economy.While talking to Turkey's angry young people Genc weaves in historical stories, visions and mythologies, showing how Turkey's progressives and conservatives take their ideological roots from two political movements born in the Ottoman Empire: the Young Turks and the Young Ottomans, two groups of intellectuals who were united in their determination to make their country more democratic.
He shows a divided society coming to terms with the 21st Century, and in doing so, gets to the heart of the compelling conflicts between history and modernity in the Middle East.
Kaya Genc is a novelist and essayist from Istanbul whose writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The London Review of Books, Salon, Guernica Magazine, Sight & Sound, The Millions, The White Review and TIME Magazine, among others. His first novel, L Avventura was published in 2008. Kaya has a PhD in English literature and is the Istanbul correspondent of The Believer and The LA Review of Books as well as a contributing editor at Index on Censorship. His article for The LA Review of Books Surviving the Black Sea was selected as one of best non-fiction pieces of 2014 by The Atlantic. Currently writing a history of Turkish literature for Harvard University Press, and due to publish his first English novel later next year, he is one of Turkey s most hotly-anticipated young writers."
“Refreshingly balanced…Mr Genc is a subtle guide to the wrenching changes Turkey is undergoing, and his personal testimony is rich in historical and cultural detail… a voice to be listened to as Turkey struggles to come to terms with itself.” - The Economist
“During more than three years living in and reporting from Turkey, I met all sorts of people…but never did I uncover the exhaustive personal political histories that the Istanbul-based novelist Kaya Genç presents in Under the Shadow…an excellent field guide for Turkey’s emerging generation. One of its most impressive achievements is something the author has left out: his own political views. In a deeply polarised Turkey, this Istanbul native has dived bodily into the muddy trough of Turkish politics and emerged nearly spotless” - David Lepeska, The National
"a great read, particularly for those of us who are tired of being fed "the latest development" without having digested and categorized what has already happened...There isn't one dull story here...Each life story is told with excellent pacing by Genç: the clues are revealed slowly, leading up to the complex person he is having coffee with in one café of Istanbul or another. Genç is a very covert narrator" - Daily Sabah
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.Paperback
Publication Date: 29 Sep 2016
Number of Pages: 240