TBT, early critical reviews of Expat Harem

These reviews were for a pre-release version of the book in December 2004.

The Expat Harem promises a world closed and sacrosanct, morphing its occupants into a new hybrid of East and West.”

    --Alev Croutier, Turkish-American author of international bestseller Harem: The World Behind the Veil

“Funny, moving and unusual, the essays in this collection transcend postcard views and prejudice to show the rich cultural tapestry of Turkish society.”

    --Nicole Pope, co-author of Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey and correspondent for Le Monde

“An extraordinary collection of women trying to make sense of their own lives through another culture. From the disillusioned missionary to the lady roustabout, what unites them is not their backgrounds or personalities but affection for an adopted Turkish homeland. The entrance to the harem is ajar. An addictive set of insights.”

    --Andrew Finkel, author of Turkish State, Turkish Society and longtime correspondent in Turkey who has worked for Time magazine, CNN and the Times of London


"Contrary to common misperceptions of Turkey as daunting and dangerous, Tales from the Expat Harem reveals the country’s warm Mediterranean culture. This peek through the lattice-work into the Turkish lives of foreign-born women exposes their encounters with the deep-seated gentility of Turks. A must-read for anyone who thinks all Muslim cultures are identical." 

    --Jennifer Lawler, author of Encyclopedia of the Byzantine Empire, and the Dojo Wisdom series

“In the harem, Ottoman women could take off their veils and tell their stories. Accomplished modern women in Tales from the Expat Harem tell us much more. Varied, absorbing personal adventures reveal today's Turkey--modern and familiar, traditional and exotic--with a depth, sincerity and delight found nowhere else. They fling open the doors of an unknown world and let us see everything. I've been waiting a long time for this book!”
    --Tom Brosnahan, veteran Berlitz, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet guidebook author, originator of Lonely Planet Turkey, founder of the Turkey Travel Planner website and author of travel memoir Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea 

“A most enjoyable book. Mixing humor with sharp insight into Turkish society, family, and the role of women, it encourages us to open our hearts to this great nation.”
    --Charlotte McPherson, author of Culture Smart! Turkey

"These women have done such a good job, even if the Turkish government spent millions of dollars on public relations it couldn't achieve the same impact that this book will."

    --Nazire Kalkan, political reporter for premiere Turkish newsweekly magazine Tempo

“Charming, warm-hearted and vivid, Expat Harem is not only a significant contribution to the understanding of Turkish life and culture, but also provides a compelling insight into the hearts and minds of foreign women who come to Turkey for love, work or travel. Their profound soul-searching makes for a definite must-read for everyone pondering the question of what it is we call 'home'.” 

    --Stine Jensen, literary critic for Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and author of Mijn hondvis, mijn moskeetj:Een liefde in Turkije, a book about love between Turks and Europeans

TBT, adapting a novel for the screen

Remembering the screen adaptation I did of an action comedy novel by Jennifer Lawler...

The main characters in this enduring ensemble story are star-crossed lovers who also happen to be mercenaries — and 17th century English scholars. Think the good-humored violence of RED with a younger group.

The Mercenary's Tale, screen adaptation of the novel Not Quite a Hero. We spent two years (1990-2) adapting the story to the screen format.   

The Mercenary's Tale, screen adaptation of the novel Not Quite a Hero. We spent two years (1990-2) adapting the story to the screen format.


Here's what a 379 page 20 year old manuscript looks like. After I read the funny, classic love story for the first time in 1987/88 I couldn't forget it...

Always looking for an illustrator to convert the script into a graphic novel for iPad, btw.

We rewrite the screenplay every now and again. It's renamed COY MISTRESS. And Jennifer found a place for those Greek sailors she loves so much!

Learn more about Jennifer Lawler.


Hosting a livestream of BinderCon sponsored by the Harnisch Foundation

Woman writer in the Bay Area? Come to this livestream party for BinderCon at UCLA on Saturday March 19


Mingle with your sister Binders and other Bay Area women writers, and watch back-to-back sessions from this year’s conference at UCLA -- thanks to the Harnisch Foundation

  1. Freelancing in the digital age panel
  2. Lunchtime keynote with TV writer/producers Lisa Kudrow & Robin Schiff
  3. How to build writing community panel

See more about speakers & sessions this party will stream

Learn more about BinderCon, a professional development conference designed to empower women and gender non-conforming writers with the tools, connections, and strategies they need to advance their careers.