‘A marvelous resource by a wonderful writer and tireless champion of literature’ —Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
‘I finished reading Under the Shadow a while ago, but haven’t stopped thinking about it. It’s such an incisive, passionate, moving book, the best thing I’ve read in quite some time. For whatever it’s worth I’m reasonably well informed about world events but Under the Shadow increased my knowledge of Turkey, from its politics to its people, by approximately ten fold. We need books like it in order to get a fuller picture, certainly fuller than the news can provide, of life and crisis, of how life and crisis co-exist, in places where we do not live ourselves.’ —Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
‘Necessary reading on Turkey’ —Basharat Peer, author of Curfewed Night
‘Such an achievement’ —Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood
‘Kaya Genç converses across borders, while forging his own distinct voice and perspective and challenging dominant narratives.’ —Maureen Freely, author of The Enlightenment
‘Kaya Genç‘s writing is as evocative as it is charming’ —Elif Şafak, author of Three Daughters of Eve and 2017 Man Booker International Prize judge
‘A terrific read’ —Elmira Bayrasli, author of From the Other Side of the World
‘Cleverly constructed, well researched, elegantly written account of modern Turkey’ —Emran Mian, author of The Banker’s Daughter
‘The ending made me cry along with him’ —Pat Yale, author of Following Miss Bell
‘There have been numerous books of analysis published about contemporary Turkey, but few come close to Kaya Genç‘s Under the Shadow for sheer humanism and breadth of perspective’ —Bilge Ebiri, critic at the Village Voice
‘Excellent book, journalistic, insightful and beautifully written, without passing judgement on the passionate people whose lives are chronicled’ —Kareem Shaheen, Istanbul correspondent for the Guardian
‘An elegantly-written and illuminating portrait of Turkey’s angry youth’ —Alex Christie-Miller, contributor to the White Review
‘Want to understand modern Turkey? Read this book’ —Claire Sadar, editor of the Muftah
‘Kaya Genç is a powerful writer‘ —Omar Waraich, deputy south Asia director of Amnesty International
‘This should be required reading for all Turkey observers’ —Audrey Williams, program coordinator at the Turkish Heritage
One of the best ten books to understand Turkey, according to Penguin Random House’s Signature Reads magazine
Amazon best-seller in Protests & Reforms Books section
November 10, 2016 – The Economist
October 10, 2016 – Publishers Weekly
Turkey stands at the crossroads of the Middle East–caught between the West and ISIS, Syria and Russia, and governed by an increasingly forceful leader. Acclaimed writer Kaya Genc has been covering his country for the past decade. In Under the Shadow he meets activists from both sides of Turkey’s political divide: Gezi park protestors who fought tear gas and batons to transform their country’s future, and supporters of Erdogan’s conservative vision who are no less passionate in their activism. He talks to artists and authors to ask whether the New Turkey is a good place to for them to live and work. He interviews censored journalists and conservative writers both angered by what has been going on in their country.
He meets Turkey’s Wall Street types who take to the streets despite the enormity of what they can lose as well as the young Islamic entrepreneurs who drive Turkey’s economy.
While talking to Turkey’s angry young people Genc weaves in historical stories, visions and mythologies, showing how Turkey’s progressives and conservatives take their ideological roots from two political movements born in the Ottoman Empire: the Young Turks and the Young Ottomans, two groups of intellectuals who were united in their determination to make their country more democratic.
He shows a divided society coming to terms with the 21st Century, and in doing so, gets to the heart of the compelling conflicts between history and modernity in the Middle East.