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Posts Tagged ‘photographs of THE POSSESSED in exotic locations’


Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Youthful readers! I am proud to announce that today I finally broke into the Istanbul high-school circuit, with a reading/ workshop at the British International School—many thanks to Russell Gunnell and loyal super-reader Ebru Kesen for making it happen!

Here is what I learned about the British International students of Istanbul: they are really astute judges of human character. In the Q/A, right between “What’s harder, fiction or nonfiction?” and “Do you ever have writer’s block?”, one young person proved that she had me all figured out by asking, “Do you have a cat?” When I asked how she was able to tell, she tactfully replied: “I know that cats sometimes help people write books.”



Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Big thanks to Eugene Ostashevsky for introducing me to Vasily Kamensky’s immortal “Constantinople”: “a milestone,” as Ostashevsky observes, “in the history of Russian travel writing about Turkey.”


“Constantinople” originally appeared in Ferro-Concrete Poems (1914),“a work… famous primarily for being made entirely of commercially produced wallpaper.”



Saturday, September 17th, 2011

A shout-out to Sabri Gürses, Turkish translator of The Possessed, who found some time during a translation conference at Tolstoy’s ancestral estate to take these beautiful pictures!


Volkonsky House, where I too spent many interesting hours…


Ecinniler cimende



Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Topographically diverse readers!  I would like to share with you two beautiful pictures of The Possessed in exotic locations.

The first comes from Senem, an anthropology PhD student at Rutgers University, in my former home state of NJ:

The Possessed in New Brunswick

The statue represents “William the Silent, who is said to start whistling when a virgin walks by.”

The second picture was taken by Sunil from the UK, during a visit to Cappadocia:


Many thanks to Senem and Sunil!

A shout-out also to Cynthia Haven of Book Haven for a recent blog post which includes, among other amazing things, a kind of non-verbal sound bite about The Possessed from René Girard!:

René told me he hadn’t read it, but when I explained the plot story about the graduate student, he chuckled sagely.

I’m chuckling sagely right now!

Coming up next time: SPOOKY READER DREAMS.


Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Did you think I had forgotten about the living writers?  I hadn’t!  This one goes out to the living writers, and their fathers!

First a shout-out for Ms. Mohamed’s debut novel, Black Mamba Boy, based on the larger-than-life life story (larger-than life story?) of her father, starting in 1930s Yemen and ending 1000 miles later…  I had the good fortune to hear Mohamed talk about Black Mamba at a really fantastic panel on fathers and daughters at last year’s Brisbane Writers’ Festival (held on (Australian) Father’s Day). All the participants were great but I was especially moved by the very amazing Soviet revisionist historian Sheila Fitzpatrick who read from her revisionist history of her father.

Apropos of amazing books about Australian fathers, another 5-star Amazon review is up here; and, apropos of amazing books about non-Australian fathers, I haven’t read Hisham Matar’s latest yet, but In the Country of Men was excellent, and I bet this one is too.

I leave you with some images of my highly valued youngest reader, Lars, whose father is the excellent living writer (and translator) Damion Searls (“Samarkand rug,” and I quote, “for extra Batumania”).  Even babies love it!

lars 060

lars 059