Keep writing. I’m on my second re-reading – I need NEW adventures!
Point taken! But you’ll need to get up a petition, I’m afraid: I write as fast as I can – and then do something foolish like making New Year’s Resolutions, to find I can’t do a thing all day.
where are you? Come out,come out where ever you are. (Or isn’t that what the English hide-and-seek players say?}
Who is your publisher? I’ll write a letter.
Jason, what and when is your next book?
Thanks for asking, Michael, I have a small raft of books on the slips – but the very next one is The Latin Reader, a potentially final Istanbul adventure with Yashim the investigator. It should be out this Summer.
Beyond that, I have a sort of cooking novel, set in 1860s London; a Civil War (Roundheads v Cavaliers) story, set near my home in Dorset; an Istanbul book, non-fiction; and a really, really tense airport style thriller which I mean to issue under a pseudonym I have always wanted to use: Benzine McCullum. It’s just a question of getting down to any one of them….!
Thanks Jason. I look forward to your new endeavours. BTW, isn’t a cooking book set in London in the 1860′s something of an oxymoron? (:>)
Ha ha: and maybe that’s why it’s rather slow going on that one…!
I can’t wait for the non-fiction book about Istanbul! If it’s anything like ‘Lords of the Horizons’, it will be pretty special. Good luck! Regards, Will
Thank you, Will!
Dear Jason, I love reading your books and your descriptions of Istanbul, I lived there for several years and worked in the British Consulate General as a nurse.Over that time were many joys and some tragic events including the earthquake of 1999 and the bombing of the consulate 1 year after we all left for NZ .Your stories really keep me in the real and wonderful world of a city which will forever be in my heart. I hope you keep writing on this remarkable time in history too .I love Ottoman history art cooking and culture. My oldest daughter now 13 is an Istanbullu I will be starting her off on your stories soon! Much praise for recreating the Istanbul I am familiar with and all the best– Annie
Thank you, Annie: sounds like you had the best and the worst the city could come up with. all best wishes, Jason
Just read my first Goodwin novel, The janissary tree – My favorite passage? the soup sellers observation that goes something like this -”you make the same soup for a long time and then you decide to add cardamon – some like it, some don’t and most don’t care – After awhile you add beans with the same results – As time goes on nobody remembers what the original soup tasted like – Seems to be a allegory on the changes in societal behavior over the past few decades. Very few have been around long enough to even remember what the soup was like to begin with
Dear Mr Goodwin,
Your book LORDS OF THE HORIZONS is indeed most interesting and very well written. It is a very detailed history of the Ottoman Empire. I have read the 1998 paperback edition, so I don’t know if you made some corrections in the next editions. Nevetheless, I would like to point out a couple of errors: On page 55, footnote, you explain that Istanbul may be a contraction of the Greek “is tin polis”. The correct is “is tin POLIN”. On page 91 you state that the empire was a land of mountains:…,” Mount Olympus on the Peloponnese”. This is an important mistake, because Mount Olympus, the home of the Greek Gods is on THE GREEK MAINLAND, between Larissa and Thessaloniki.
With best regards
Thank you so very much for those observations: timeo danaos et dona ferentes…. I’m not convinced about the contraction of ‘is tin polin’ (thank you) – are you? It seems an odd way to find a name for a big city. Of course the Ottomans always called it Constantinople. As for Olympos, Λυπάμαι! To think I have actually seen it.
I would like to know whether the novels had been translated into German!!!!
Absolutely. Into Icelandic, Albanian and Korean too, among the forty odd translations worldwide! The publisher is Piper Verlag: Die Weissheit des Eunuchens (rotten title), Der Antiquar von Constantinopel, usw. I hope you find them and do feel free to comment on the translation: I’d be very interested.
I’ve just finished all four Yashim books, and am planning on Lords of the Horizons. But I’ve got a (not serious) problem: I “read” the books via audiobook, which means I don’t know how to spell anything in the books, and so can’t look them up when I want to learn more about Istanbul! I’m assuming that the “Besiktas” palace featured in Evil Eye is the Dolmabahce Palace. But how do I spell “cayeek”? I want to see what one looks like. Thanks for a wonderful introduction to the Ottoman world.
Thanks for the kind comments, Bruce. Unusual problem – but yes, the palace at Besiktas stood very near the Dolmabahce Palace but was an earlier building, also in a fundamentally European style. It was demolished to make way for the Dolmabahce in, I think, 1843. As for the caiques, the gondolas of Istanbul, run a search on Ottoman caiques – there are some really lovely illustrations out there. So very few survive.Thanks for getting in touch.
Dear Mr Goodwin: I was in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar last weekend (I live and work in Doha) and there in the 3rd floor gallery, tucked away behind a suit of armor was the BELLINI CARD! There he was, Mehmet II looking at the viewer over his left shoulder, a gorgeously detailed shoulder by G Bellini. It was an exciting moment for me! If you ever come to Doha, be sure to go see this portrait. I am glad it is not at the bottom of the Grand Canal.
Hello, Jason. I have a question for you: why did you write the Bellini Card?
Perhaps you don’t agree, but I thought the story too good to keep to myself!
In your short movie “Yashim’s Istanbul” you make a passing reference to “[your] favourite bookshop in Istanbul” — but if you named the shop, I missed it. Can you help a fellow bibliophile (who plans to visit Istanbul in October) by providing more details? Thank you…
Yes: it’s in the Book Bazaar, in the narrow passage that leads from the Grand Bazaar entrance on bayezit square. There are a few cubby holes, on the left hand side, and this is one of them. There’ll be books outside, and a green sign above the window – and I’ve just this moment blanked on the name! It’s often staffed by a beautiful woman who speaks faultless English, Ayesegul (as in Ayesha-gul). You never know what might turn up there. An alternative is Kayseri Books, at the Blue Mosque end of Divan Yolu, which has by contrast a large plate glass window and plenty of space inside and is run by Ali and his sons: Ali is the most ambitious bookseller I’ve ever known. His stuff is all new. Whenever I go in, he declares himself to be the world’s biggest seller of Yashim novels. ‘Ten thousand! In one year!’ Then he pushes me towards a sumptious photographic book by Ahmet Ertug, a snip at $350 or whatever. Have fun.
Are we going to have the pleasure of seeing you on “our” island again this year?
Dear Mr. Goodwin,
I recently read “The Janissary Tree” and was very impressed by the wealth of detail you included regarding daily life in the city in that period. I was wondering, do you have a bibliography you would be willing to share that would reveal the sources for the plethora of evocative details in your novel?
Much of the material comes from accounts written over the years by travellers: visitors are always good at spotting the curious details which the natives pass over as too mundane to record. You’ll find a good selection of them in the bibliography for my history, Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. Best of luck, Jason
Three things have happened to me during the last month. I traveled to Le Puy en Velay where I found the style of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child to be “in majesty.” A friend returned from Istanbul and shared photos of Icons of Our Lady with Christ Child in a similar arrangement. And I have discovered your books about Yashim – in this order. In “The Snake Stone” page 153, last paragraph, paperback red cover, there is:
‘Well,’ Yashim hesitated. ‘I think so, yes. Maybe not directly.’ This was one of his pet theories – how had they got onto that so soon? ‘The Italians were in Pera. Perhaps they brought the idea to France.’
My idea is that the ‘in majesty’ of Our Lady in France comes from Istanbul. Any comments?
Fascinating – can you tell me a bit more about the ‘in majesty’ style? J
Hi! You have an instant fan, here. I came across your Yasim novels — not sure how — and was/am enchanted. I have one tiny connection to the real in that part of the world: I lived on Rhodes when I was a kid. It gives me just enough of a ‘taste’ for the Greeks, et al., to appreciate your rendering of the cultures.
However, I am an audiobook ‘reader’ and the narrator for books 3 and 4 is so disappointing compared to the narrator for books 1 and 2. I think I may be able to settle down with it when I’ve got a little distance in time, but I must ask: what happened to the narrator of books 1 and 2? (I’m sorry, I don’t recall his name and I’m on an unfamiliar computer or I’d go do my research to not sound so stooped [sic].)
I am going to invest in some heavy duty 3.0+ readers and see if I can tackle your History of the Ottoman Empire. If your non-fiction writing is as good as your fiction writing I am in for a serious treat!
Thank you, Rede! How lucky to have lived on Rhodes – there’s a bit on the knights in Lords of the Horizons, which I do hope you’ll enjoy. I’m sorry you didn’t get on with the reader for books 3 and 4; I think the audio publishing world changed and they brought it in-house. The first reader was Andrew Sachs who as you know (and I think to his irritation) played the waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers. all best wishes, Jason
Dear Jason, I have read all your books to date, only waiting now for the ‘The Latin Reader’ to be released. Please can you help me? I cannot get hold of ‘Cooking with Yashim’. It appears that Amazon.co.uk are unable to get it for release to us in the Uk who desperately want to read it. Please can you let us have ‘Cooking with Yashim’ so that we can enjoy it, like those who live in the USA are doing? How much effort would it take for you to let Amazon.co.uk have the digital means? Failing that, is there anyone who has ‘Cooking with Yashim’ that could let me have a copy of it so that I can have it converted for UK Kindle? Hope someone can help. Please hurry up with ‘The Latin Reader’ Jason. Regards Walt.
Thanks, Walt, for that suggestion. The Latin Reader is out next year, I know it’s not very soon but I hope you will hang on. I think it’s rather good! I wish I could say the same for Cooking with Yashim – it’s just a few recipes, not a real book, which FSG put out as a PR exercise with An Evil Eye, so I don’t think you are missing anything much. The real, full-blooded cookery book is yet to come – fingers crossed I can get it done this year. Meanwhile the recipes that are in the books are almost all do-able, except for the odd session when Yashim is interrupted in media res: do check first!
All best wishes,
ps I have a shortish Yashim story called The Man who Stole Puppies which I mean to release somehow this year, as a stopgap: not quite sure of the way to do it.
Hi Jason. Really pleased that you have taken the trouble to reply. Okay then I shall skip ‘Cooking with Yashim’ and wait for the ‘Full Bloodied’ Cookery Book, which I shall dream about every night. I love cooking and especially Turkish cooking and this book would meet my needs for a long time to come. ‘The Man who stole Puppies’ Oh Yes! I can just imagine Yashim getting to grips with that, short though the story might be. Lets hope against hope that it will not be too long delayed. Thank you for being so kind to an aged Limey. Regards Walt.
Hi! Rede here again. Got Lords of the Horizons from the library today, got into first five pages, and it is GREAT. Now I have that and your Discovery of France, Amity Shlaes’s Coolidge, vanDoren’s Great Rehearsal (should parallel Pauline Meier’s Ratifications), and Steven Goldberry’s Maui the DemiGod, all to actually READ, so I figure my little eyeballs will fall out of my little head! Well, it will be enjoyable along the way….After I messaged you before I went back to my audio book source(s) and found only one narrator listed — the one I didn’t like on the Yasim #3. I hunted high and low and decided my little marbles had taken an advance on the path my little eyeballs will follow after reading all those pages. Your reply cheers me immeasurably, reassuring me my audio memory is still (yet) intact — and yes, Andrew Sachs is who read Yasim ##1 and 2, is great! Do writers not get a say in who reads their work for posterity? I find a number of houses bringing reading inhouse presumably to save money are — what’s the phrase I want? — short changing themselves. Oh well, I am just a library consumer, so . . . Thanks for your replies not just to me but to your other ‘correspondents’. What a literate bunch you attract!
Hello, Jason: I don’t much like the idea of The Latin Reader being a “potentially final” Yashim adventure. I really dig Yashim; don’t kiss him off yet, please. Which is not to say your other stuff isn’t great. Just, you know, keep Yashim. Please. Thanks. A lot. Cheers, Susan
My publishers – FSG in the US, Faber in the UK – say exactly the same, and who am I to fly in the face of publishers and readers? The Latin Reader was more than potentially final: it was to be potentially fatal, too. But I’m still open to persuasion. Maybe we should start a Save Yashim campaign?! Thaks for your kind comments, and best wishes, Jason
No! Whatever you do Jason, do NOT kill off Yashim. That is not the way into the hearts of the public and/or your loyal fans. Why should you kill him off? What purpose would it serve, except to free you to write other books on other subjects. No chef would leave a table of starving guests, eagerly waiting for the products of his culinary skills and walk off to make sandwiches for passing tourists. You have a miriad loyal fans, eagerly awaiting the next course of this Yashim banquette. It is only right and fitting that you knuckle down and serve their appetites. Please reconsider, please, please, please. Come on you loyalists, get that Save Yashim Campaign rolling. Someone start collecting names. Heres mine. Walt.gG0tuj@g0tuj.karoo.co.uk
Gaaak! Kill off Yashim? Waaaahhhhhhh! Don’t your dare!!! OK, that’s the inner child having a tantrum. On the Thursday Next level, just who do you propose in Yashim’s universe could do him in? And he doesn’t strike me as the suicidal type . . . Jason, you behave or I’m going to start a Twitter storm to save Yashim and then won’t you (and everyone else on Twitter) be sorry!
Ah, no, not suicide, nor any mere avenger: but Yashim might be betrayed by love. People can be vulnerable in the very thing that makes them strong. Tell that to the Twitterati! best, J
I’m trying to figure out how Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty, Yashim, and his (potential?) killer could all meet in some kind of “club of the not-actually-killed-detective-and-bad-guy” world? The timing isn’t quite right — Yashim would have to wait around about 50 years, plus get himself to Switzerland (another European story?). But I’m sure, Jason, that you’ll be able to come up with something .
Please don’t kill Yashim. I am italian and so I have to wait not only the release of the book but I have also to wait the translation and you want to kill him ? You are crazy!!! Please save him for a poor italian reader and sorry for my english but I have had to overcome my shyness to stop this madness. Waiting for good news I add my best regards Tiziano
Jason, you are to be commended for creating such a powerful, lovable ,living, breathing character. I think killing off Yasim would be committing suicide. We would die, too. When he was in the cistern under Hagia Sophia it was AWFUL.
Hope there is something in the pipeline, Jason.
Your loyal fan,
Please Jason do not kill off Yashim!! I am sitting here on the last afternoon of what is likely the last trip to Istanbul my (Turkish) husband and I will be able to take. That’s almost enough to bring me to tears never mind reading that the next Yashim book might be the last. Please keep giving those of us who can’t get there the wonderful reminders of this incredible city!
Please, please do not harm our beloved Yashim.
Jason, I am so pleased to learn another Yashim novel is coming out, but Yashim can’t perish! You would have to revive him as Doyle did for SH when he killed him off. Could you explain why the Janissaries in your first novel adhere to the Karagozi order rather than the Bektashi? And is the Karagozi order fictitious? Two more questions: would it have been possible for someone like Yashim to exist independently in the Ottoman society of his day, which was so highly structured? And would people have known he was a eunuch from his dress/behavior?
Dear Martha, Good questions! The Karagozi order is fictional, as you rightly guessed, and named for the buffoonish character Karagoz in the Turkish puppet plays: the Janissaries were indeed Bektashi. Because I was about to heap all kinds of calumny on the order I thought it more polite to create a fictional counterpart. Yashim would, I think, have been able to function in Ottoman society: his real-life predecessor Fazil Ahmet did so (and he appears in An Evil Eye). True court eunuchs would have been quite recognisable – the high fluting voice, the elongated joints, the beardless chin – but they, unlike Yashim, were castrated before reaching puberty. Yashim himself lost his testicles only, after puberty, so he retains the usual manly attributes (and capabilities) while still being free to visit the harem. All best wishes, Jason
Thank you so much for your speedy and complete response, Jason. My husband and I are teaching a class on The Janissary Tree; the students are “lifelong learners,” I.e. older, well-educated adults here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They raise provocative questions, as you may imagine. We just taught a course on the evolving civilizations of Greece and Turkey. One of our books for that course was your Ottoman history. Now we must go back to The Evil Eye as we’d forgotten about Fazil Ahmet. Your books are so rich in detail!
Great work Mr. Goodwin; I’ve read most of your books and can’t wait for the latest Yashim novel.
How can I get a copy of Cooking With Yashim? I live in Canada and the link is to the US store and will not allow me to download because I don’t have a US account. I love the books and the food. Started from #1 again. Please don’t kill him off!
Don’t worry too much about the cookery – it’s only a squib, that e-book. A better, fuller book will come along some time! So glad you like the books – and you have understood Yashim as I do. Thanks, Jason
Me again. I’ve been thinking about Yashim and what distinguishes him from others. (I was introducing him to a librarian yesterday.) His early trauma, (the worst a male can suffer) physical and mental, affected him profoundly. I think he is vulnerable and deeply compassionate as a result. Something wounded people can be, as opposed to being bitter and frighteningly angry. I also feel he is a touch melancholic too. Hugely appealing in his humanity.
Re Yashim’s future and a future Yashim Cookbook:
My vote is for a print version with more recipes, food history and some pictures.
Having Yashim around for more adventures would be a pleasure but I’m glad we have the ones we have.
thank you for the Yashim books. I have read four at least once. please don’t kill him off. your having enriched the lives of so many people it seems presumptuous to make demands. looking forward to the history of the Ottoman Empire. enjoy other reader’s comments.
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