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I examine representations of Istanbul in the texts of contemporary Turkish and non-Turkish writers such as A. S. Byatt, Philip Glazebrook, Erendiz Atasü, Elif ?afak, Lynne Tillman, Zülfü Livaneli, Julia Kristeva, and Orhan Pamuk. My project highlights how multiple and even contradictory depictions of Istanbul in contemporary texts engage in cross-genre mergings (of fiction, autobiography and theory) that narrate plural accounts of Istanbul's imperial past and its present role as Turkey's largest industrial city. The texts that inform this study underscore the unique location of Istanbul that unites Asia and Europe, and connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. I argue that Istanbul's liminal position between the two continents becomes the site through which cultural identities are articulated in contemporary fiction on Turkey. I investigate the diverse ways novels of the last three decades produce Istanbul as a Byzantine, Ottoman, Oriental, Islamic, or as a Republican city. The distinctiveness of my project lies in its focus on recent representations of Istanbul which have not been comprehensively studied by literary scholars. This book will contribute to current scholarship on Istanbul by investigating how contemporary texts underline the social and political significances of the city's geography at the threshold.
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