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In the Shadow of the Yali

A novel by


Set in a changing Istanbul, this rediscovered 1940s classic from a pioneering Turkish author tells the story of a forbidden love and its consequences.

Raised by her grandmother in one of the famed yalıs, elegant yet crumbling, that line the Bosphorus, Celile occupies a unique space between the old world of the Ottoman Empire and the new world of the Republic. She drifts through ten years of marriage, reserved even with her husband, never tempted to stray from the safe path of respectability. And then one night, intoxicated by a soulful tango, she is suddenly seized with a mad passion for another man, whose reckless pursuit of her should offend but doesn’t. Torn between two men who want to possess her, Celile attempts to live a life true to herself, always keenly aware of the limits placed on her as a woman. 
In the Shadow of the Yalı marks the highly anticipated English-language debut of feminist writer and activist Suat Derviş. Her sensitive, strikingly modern portrayal of a love affair, with its frank emphasis on the influence of money, provides a fascinating contrast to classic tales of infidelity such as Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"In this extraordinary novel, Suat Dervis gives us the awakening of Celile, a young woman who discovers both the potency of her desire and the men who want to harness that guileless joy for their own ends. Her extreme innocence allows her a full-hearted and wide-eyed view of the events she is driving by her own actions, even as they threaten to destroy her. Steamy, gothic, and deeply insightful about the tangled motivations of financial greed and romantic love, as well as the vastly divergent life options for women and men in mid-twentieth-century Turkey, I read this novel in one big gulp." - Lucy Jane Bledsoe

"Evoking the tumultuous fledgling years of the Turkish Republic as it rises from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, In the Shadow of the Yali is an enthralling and troubling novel about desire, possession, and illicit love. Suat Dervis delivers a powerful feminist rebuke of patriarchal society that thrums with passion right up to the surprising and challenging climax of this romantic and tragic work." - Alan Drew

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