Istanbul...Constantinople...Byzantium: this ancient city has gone by many names, and its turbulent history has fired the imaginations of many writers [including the Irish poet William Butler Yeats]. Today, on Mother's Day, I received a wonderful gift from that city, in the form of an email from a Turkish writer about my my book, Spontaneous Combustion.
Here is an excerpt:
"Your book arrived yesterday and today I sit in a coffeeshop in Istanbul, my yellow marker in hand reading, nodding, and laughing, taking notes while furiously marking passages in your book. I am lost for a while in the book, look up and discover I am still in Istanbul."
I love that that my words were able to inspire and transport her. This particular person is herself a writing teacher, and runs something she calls a "writer's house." I'm not sure what that is, but it intrigues me; I think I want one!
But what is really making me smile is the image of someone in Istanbul, a world away, sipping Turkish coffee and and laughing and scribbling notes while reading something I wrote. Truly, books can bridge all kinds of distances, both physical and cultural.