We at BookTrail Towers have sadly never been to Istanbul. We would like to go that’s for sure so when we came across this little book of ‘ Perfect gems of City writing’ we thought ‘ooh this sounds interesting’
The book is a veritable Turkish smörgåsbord of writing of all flavours for all tastes presented in various courses for your delectation. Various writers or should I say ‘word chefs’ cook up a feast for all your senses –
- What is it about Istanbul?
- Traveller’s tales
- The glorious past
- The city in all its moods
This resonated with us very strongly since the cities we have been to DO change via season, part of history and we all have a tale to tell of our own experience of a city.
Travel writers, local writers, novelists who have used Istanbul as a setting backdrop or even character in their novels are brought together in a tempting mix – to get the real flavour, spice and bite of a city across to the City pick reader
We were keen to read on and meet the guides of Istanbul –
Orhan Pamuk who makes his own museum
Elif Shafak experience of shopping in the Grand Bazaar
Ride the Bosphorus ferries with William Dalrymple
See why Geert Mak enjoys the Galata Bridge
Listen to Yashar Kemal recalling a moving tradition
and of course, travel on the same ‘magic bus‘ as Rory Maclean
Particular favorites of ours (although there are many to choose from ) include a 19th century visitor’s journey into the Basilica Cistern, plus the various people crossing Galata bridge in different ages.
Taste the city –
To me, Istanbul is the most fascinating , most ravishing city on earth,a felling that hasn’t wavered since I first ate a peach on the Galata Bridge twenty years ago.
Anya von Bremzen ‘ eating in Istanbul’
Experience the atmospheric rain and fog –
At this hour the mist would lie so thick that the domes of Santa Sofia and the rest would seem to be afloat; gradually the mist would uncover them;the bubbles would be seen to be firmly fixed;there would be the river; there the Galata Bridge…
See the city from a detective’s eyes –
Everything in Istanbul has a fake something or other. Inspector Çetin Ikmen himself had beee given a counterfeit Rolex watch by his youngest son for his last, his fifty-seventh, birthday. The child Kemal, has purchased it fro one of the many scruffy-looking vendors of such things who plied their trade underneath the Galata Bridge
Barbara Nadel is an English novelist (who has written the introduction to this city pick guide herself) and who has set her series of crime novels in the city featuring the detective Çetin Ikmen
The city pick guides are tour guides with a difference and a mix of short and longer passages gives the whole recipe of what can only be described as Turkish Delight
Find out more about the City Pick guides here – http://thecity-litcafe.typepad.com/
For the novels of Barbara Nadel – http://www.barbara-nadel.com/