We recently posted a story about the authors of Expat Harem and their US tour. Now Fethiye Times interviews them to find out how it went.

We recently posted a story about the authors of Expat Harem and their US tour. Now Fethiye Times interviews them to find out how it went.

Jennifer Gokmen and Anastasia Ashman are the co authors of this years great read, Tales from the Expat Harem, a book all about women living in contemporary Turkey. Fethiye Times has interviewed the due about their US Tour and this is the first of three articles to be posted over the next week.

It must have been exhausting – how did you cope?

Jennifer Gokmen: The Expat Harem US book tour was energizing. It was a gruelling seven week schedule, but the excited crowds certainly buoyed us.  We met many people along the way who had some kind of connection to Turkey,  from a cashier at a mall in Dayton whose mother used to work in Karamursel  30 years ago to our rowmate on a plane to Seattle, who claims he is known as  “the Godfather of Adana” since he first became acquainted with people in the  area with the U.S. Airforce 25 years ago and now visits yearly. Thankfully  we blogged almost every day because now it all seems a blur!

Anastasia Ashman: More than 800 readers came out to meet us and our contributors in 22 cities nationwide, with an average of 28 people per event – at bookstores, festivals, social and business clubs, public and private enterprises. We met diplomats and businesspeople, academics and travelers, journalists and filmmakers, members of policy institutes, NGOs,  and cultural trainers. We were fortunate to be able to rely on the support  of a lot of family, friends and colleagues in America and even some  benefactors back here in Turkey; Demet Sabanci Cetindogan, Umit Boyner, and  Arzuhan Yalcindag have been Expat Harem’s earliest and strongest supporters.  We couldn’t have done it without the help of these prominent Turkish  businesswomen!

JG: Witnessing the interest in Turkey among American audiences was also heartening. The US edition went into its second printing just one month after its publication. In addition, the University of British Columbia (Canada) and University of Michigan have adopted Tales from the Expat Harem  as a classroom text for courses in literature and in modern Turkey. The pace  was tiring, but we hope the tour and the media coverage we generated across  America will bring more visitors to Turkey as well.

AA: American readers told us that as they devoured the collection (two days  was the average reading time) they realized that not only can they come  here, they have to start making their plans now!  We are gratified that this  summer National Geographic Traveler, the world’s most popular travel  magazine with nearly 7 million readers, recommends Tales from the Expat Harem for travelers planning trips to Istanbul.