Since the middle of the twentieth century, Turkish playwriting has been notable for its verve and versatility. This two-volume anthology is the first major collection of modern Turkish plays in English—a selection dealing with ancient Anatolian mythology, Ottoman history, contemporary social issues, family dramas, and ribald comedy from Turkey’s cities and rural areas. It also includes several plays set outside Turkey.
The second volume, “I, Anatolia” and Other Plays, includes eight major plays from the 1970s through the end of the millennium. Together, both volumes grant to English readers the pleasure of riveting drama in translations that are colloquial as well as faithful. For producers, directors, and actors they provide a wealth of fresh, new material, with characters ranging from Ottoman sultans to a Soviet cosmonaut, from the Byzantine Empress Theodora to a fisherman’s wife, from residents of an Istanbul neighborhood to King Midas, from Montezuma to a Turkish cabinet minister.
Talat S. Halman is professor and chairman of the Department of Turkish Literature at Bilkent University in Ankara. Formerly he was on the faculties of Columbia University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and New York University. He has written or edited more than seventy-five books, including Contemporary Turkish Literature, Modern Turkish Drama, and Süleyman the Magnificent Poet. He is also editor of the Journal of Turkish Literature (JTL).
Jayne L. Warner is director of research at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory in Greenwich, Connecticut.
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