History Janet Wallach Seraglio: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780385490467

Seraglio: A Novel

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9780385490467: Seraglio: A Novel

Transporting readers to the menacing yet majestic world of eighteenth-century Turkey, biographer and Middle East expert Janet Wallach brilliantly re-imagines the life of Aimee Dubucq, cousin of Empress Josephine, in her first novel Seraglio.

At the age of thirteen, when en route from France to her home in Martinique, Aimee Dubucq is kidnapped by Algerian pirates. Blonde and blue-eyed, the genteel young girl is a valuable commodity, and she is soon placed in service in the Seraglio - the Ottoman Sultan’s private world - in Topkapi Palace. As Dubucq, renamed Nakshidil ("embroidered on the heart") discovers the erotic secrets that win favor of kings and deftly learns the affairs of the empire, she struggles to retain her former identity, including her Catholic faith. Overtime Nakshidil becomes the intimate of several powerful sultans: wife to one, lover and confidante to another, and adoptive mother to a third. Her life often treads the tenuous line between sumptuous pleasures and mere survival until her final years when she is awarded control of the harem as the valide, mother of the Sultan.

With phenomenal research and a mesmerizing voice, Janet Wallach provides a powerful and passionate glimpse of East-West history through one woman’s distinctly European eyes.

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell

"
Wallach deals superbly with Arab politics and history, unfolding clearly the extraordinary complications that surrounded the corrupt and enfeebled Ottoman Empire..."
-The New Yorker

"Janet Wallach handles the complex politics of the period with ease and authority..."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"In Desert Queen, scholarship and imagination work together. Wallach knows her subject so well that she can recreate the rhythm of Bell’s own zest."
-Chicago Tribune

"[Janet Wallach] is an expert on the region and her knowledge is on full display..."
-New York Times Book Review

About the Author:

A frequent contributor to publications such as The Washington Post Magazine, JANET WALLACH is the author of Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, Chanel: Her Style and Her Life, and three books on the Middle East (co-authored with her husband). She divides her time between New York City and Connecticut.

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