For a long time now Istanbul, Turkey has been one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve visited the city five times and lived there for several months in the winter of 2011. I spent a lot of time photographing the people while wandering the narrow streets and bustling bazaars of the Old City. But I also discovered the great literature associated with this ancient place. Since then, Nobel Prize winner #orhanpamuk’s writing has come to mean a lot to me, as have the works of Elliot Ackerman who will be returning to the Nantucket Book Festival this June 14-16.
A veteran of four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart, Elliot lives abroad in Istanbul covering the Syrian war and has written three novels Dark at the Crossing, Green on Blue, and most recently, Waiting for Eden. All three novels deal with the effects of war and its impacts on our connections and relationships. His stories are distinctly human, filled with compassion, while deftly dealing with difficult subjects. His writing, which can also be found in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and the Atlantic, among other premiere publications, is important. In a world lost to its factions, ideologies, and tribes, Elliot’s writing reminds us that we are all essentially the same, and more importantly, we all want the same things. Living in Istanbul is the perfect place to come to a realization such as this. This city, once known as Constantinople, is the line between east and west, between Christian and Muslim, between modern and ancient. It is a city where many cultures and tribes live side-by-side with all the imperfection, conflict, and beauty found within the human condition.
Please join me in supporting the work of the Nantucket Book Foundation and its annual festival, the vast majority of which is completely free and open to the public. For the full list of authors attending this year’s festival, along with information on how you can support this important work, visit us online at: www.nantucketbookfestival.org.