Topic of the Week for May 25-29: Expat Literature May 24, 2009Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in weekly topics.
Expatriate literature may be stocked in the travel section, but does it deserve a shelf of its own? Living for extended periods in foreign locales, expatriates struggle to reestablish themselves and find meaningful access to their new home. Travelers passing through often have the luxury to avoid the very issues of assimilation and identity that dominate the expat psyche. We’ll talk about the unique depths this can bring to expat lit’s combination of outsider-view-from-the-inside and journey of self-realization.
Joining us as guest host for LitChat on Friday, May 29 is Anastasia M. Ashman, a writer/producer of multimedia entertainment projects that further the worldwide cultural conversation. Drawn to the nexus of women, culture, travel — and history, inspired by a Bryn Mawr archaeology degree – she illuminates personal dynamics, from one family to entire hemispheres. Her productions capitalize on ten years of expatriatism and a decade in U.S. media and entertainment.
Anastasia’s coeditor of the expatriate literature collection Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey, endorsed by NBC TV’s Today Show, Lonely Planet and International Herald Tribune. Studied in seven North American universities, its literary ambassadorship is widely supported in Turkey.
In Istanbul, where she’s lived with her Turkish husband since 2003, Anastasia coproduced the Near East’s first Global Nomad Salon in association with Janera.com. The Economist calls this worldwide series of intellectual dinner parties “jetsetters with a conscience.” With a fellow author she’s co-developing an annual gathering of globally mobile progressives.
The native of Berkeley, California has published in Asian Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, National Geographic Traveler and Cornucopia, the magazine for connoisseurs of Turkish culture. She is currently writing a forensic memoir of friendship, and the screen adaptation of her Expat Harem wedding tale.
You may follow Anastasia on Twitter at @thandelike.