Summaries of Published Books
Istanbul Days, Istanbul Nights
This is a multi-character novel about foreigners who live in Turkey and work alongside Turks at a fairly new university devoted to the performing arts in Istanbul. The university is entering its fourth year and the director, Bekir, approves a proposed bi-lingual, musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in the hopes that it will generate much needed publicity for the university that could increase enrollment and help make the school financially profitable in the near future. The production is the brainchild of the theatre department’s chair, Michael, an expat American, and will involve other students and faculty from the other university departments.
The novel follows ten main characters as they interact in romantic and near-romantic relationships culminating in a few happy endings and a few bittersweet ones. There are also five student supporting players in this novel structured as a play who are also grappling with their own romantic dilemmas. A cast list of the characters in order of appearance in the novel helps to give some background to each and also serves as a who’s who of the actors in this romantic comedy of the difficulties embarking on a romantic relationship that cuts across the barriers of language and culture.
Rizzo, a NYC based journalist, has problems trying to cope with his estranged wife Burcu, a pop star in Turkey who spends most of her time either in Istanbul or touring in concert throughout Europe and the US. He also has a daughter, Cansu, who lives with her mother in Istanbul and is a college student there, that he barely knows. He spends most of his time hanging out in Jake's, a bar near Union Square, with his childhood friend Peter, also a journalist for the same magazine. It isn't until his other best friend Cemal, a photographer for the magazine, is murdered in Istanbul that his life is thrown off-balance. It's then Rizzo is asked to help Cemal's favorite cousin Meral find out who killed Cemal.
With the unwanted help of his daughter, Rizzo finds himself going back and forth between NY and Istanbul trying to investigate the events surrounding Cemal's death. And in the course of that investigation, he finds his relationship to all three women--Burcu. Cansu, and Meral--undergoes a dramatic change.
This is a mystery, a love story, and a novel about friendship, and the price one pays to honor the commitment both friends and lovers require.
Harry Mancuso finds himself facing trouble at the college where he works when an official complaint of harassment has been filed against him, trouble with a stalled writing career, trouble with his first ex-wife and the bombshell she drops on him, and trouble with his daughter at home whose tenure at the college is jeopardized by the pending harassment complaint. All these troubles and the week has just begun.
Night & Day
This novel is the retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream set in the third world of New York in the 21st Century with a multicultural cast of characters fumbling their way through the various phases of romantic involvement while one obsessed college theatre department chair tries to mount a production of the play.
There are no car chases, bombings, or blood shed, unless you consider the broken hearts, but there is a lot of confusion, some changing of partners, and love, both consumed and unrequited. In other words, love flows much like life and though Shakespeare's comedy had a happy ending where all pairs of lovers were blissfully joined with, in some cases, the help of a magic potion, no such potion exists in modern times and happiness isn't quite so easily attained.
This love story is a casserole. First, mix one poet/teacher in his forties, twice divorced, and somewhat gun shy when it comes to commitment and a Chinese immigrant in her early thirties pursing her doctorate while trying to maintain a balance between her Chinese self and her emerging American identity, throw in cultural differences, false hopes, and misunderstandings, add the usual assortment of friends, whiskey, steamed flounder, and a night of karaoke and you have a love story of sorts in NYC toward the end of the twentieth century.
Ali Melek sorunlari olan insanlara yardimci olur: vize ile oturan ve is bulmaya calisan yabancilar, yurtdisinda okumak isteyen ogrenciler, kayip cocuklarini arayan aileler… Bir gun agabeyi Istanbul'da kaybolan Cinli bir kizin bulunmasi icin yardim etmesini ister. Kucuk kizin insan ticareti kurbani olabileceginden suphelenen Ali, baba dostu, yeralti baglantilari olan, Rum lakapli, emekli bir kacakcinin yardimina basvurur. Seks endustrisinden kurtarilan, Rus Irina ile yasayan Rum, isteksizce geride biraktigi hayata doner ve Turk, Kurt, Rus cetelerinin arasinda yeniden gecmisinin gunahlarindan arinmaya calisir.