They say we must now be multicultural, but when you’re a middle class white lady . . .

... just fake it? According to Stephen Kelman, yes! His Pigeon English (2011) took critics by storm and yet he did what we're never this side of the Atlantic supposed to do -- posed as a minority. Or, rather, his narrator did. He took on the guise of Ghanian street kids, and it worked! See the … Continue reading They say we must now be multicultural, but when you’re a middle class white lady . . .

The Seraglio, World of Women

I enjoyed reading the article on the role of women in the Ottoman Empire’s Seraglio

History Imagined

Sometimes research for a novel takes a fiction writer in unexpected directions. When a complicated plot combinghair1800beypoint led me to place a character in the Ottoman Seraglio as a teacher I had to wonder just how far fetched that idea might be.

“Seraglio” I discovered refers to the Sultan’s household, his home, the private quarters. “Harem” is the name for the women in his household, of which there were many: wives, concubines, sisters, daughters, and, most importantly, his mother. The Seraglio of the Topkapi palace was a massive complex of apartments, baths, and courtyards, a maze of over 300 ornate rooms and tiled passageways. Home to hundreds of women, it required a complex administrative structure.

The most powerful figure in the Seraglio (after the Sultan) was the Valide Sultan, usually the Sultan’s mother. If his mother was deceased or otherwise not available, another senior female family member filled the position. She…

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Knocked Over By Dialogue: What’s your favorite line from YA lit?

Here's a list composed by BuzzFeed Books. I like many of them, though a lot strike me as far too mature for the mouths of teenagers. See for yourself and post your own fave. 1. “You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if you only dared. And deep down, you know it too, and … Continue reading Knocked Over By Dialogue: What’s your favorite line from YA lit?