The Delights Of Turkey
Fiction by Edouard Roditi
Edouard Roditi’s The Delights of Turkey is a confection that reminds us that short fiction need not be only a relentless probing of everyday anguish. Here is a score of witty and ingenious stories, set for the most part in Asia Minor, where the centuries-long mingling of Turks and Armenians, Greeks and Jews has evolved a vibrant culture rich in diversity. The tales are often bawdy or fanciful in the manner of the Thousand and One Nights, while others are more poignantly humorous in style, as we meet pasha, princess, and peasant, become privy to the intrigues of the Ottoman harem, or follow the merchant caravans on their journeys east. The collection itself is arranged thematically in four parts. “A City Built on Seven Hills” sketches a timeless Istanbul. “The Chronicles of Bok Köy” tell of an Anatolian village and the legendary prowess of its young men, the redoubtable Achmet Hodja most especially. In “Orient Express” baffled European meets mysterious Levantine. The last section, “The Eternal and Ubiquitous City” returns once more to Istanbul, this time in its contemporary guise.