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An Armchair Traveller's History of Istanbul
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Istanbul, City of Forgetting and Remembering, by Richard Tillinghast, is a travel book in the classic tradition of Robert Byron, Evelyn Waugh, Patrick Leigh Fermor, and Jan Morris. The author is an old Istanbul hand who first visited there fifty years ago and has seen it change over the years from a provincial backwater to today’s vibrant metropolis. His introduction to the city’s art and architecture, culture, history, literature, and cuisine ranges widely and knowledgeably through the city’s Byzantine, Ottoman, and Turkish roots, all of it framed by the author’s own voyages of discovery. With Tillinghast as a guide through Istanbul’s cafés, mosques, palaces and taverns, and along its streets and waterways, readers will feel at home both in the Constantinople of bygone days and on the streets of the modern town. His Istanbul is a densely layered place of deep memory, where the ghosts of Byzantine emperors, theologians, and courtesans rub elbows with Ottoman sultans, poets, and dervishes.

In 2008 Richard Tilinghast published Finding Ireland: A Poet’s Explorations of Irish Literature and Culture, winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award for Travel Essays. He has received grants from the Irish Arts Council, the British Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, was awarded the Amy Lowell Travelling Fellowship from Harvard, the Cleanth Brooks Prize for creative non-fiction, and is a 2010-11 Guggenheim Fellow.

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