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Monday, June 25, 2012

Stocke, Brenner Discuss 'Love Affair With Turkey'

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Milwaukee-born Joy Stocke and Michigan native Angie Brenner met on the balcony of a guesthouse on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. After discovering a shared love of travel, history, cuisine and literature, they began a 10-year journey through modern-day Turkey. This remarkable adventure is captured in their new book, Anatolian Days & Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints.

In this touching and often humorous memoir, Stocke and Brenner travel from cosmopolitan Istanbul to the heart of Mesopotamia. Inspired by the poetry of 13th-century mystic Rumi, the two visit central Turkey for the Whirling Dervishes Festival. Their time at a Turkish bath becomes a lesson in sensuality and patience, and their interest in world history shows them the sites of Turkey's splendid and sordid past. Throughout their travels, Stocke and Brenner share their thoughts, demystifying stereotypes and bringing Muslim Turkey into focus. Told in the alternating voices of the two authors, this well-written book offers depth that goes beyond most memoirs of travel.

Stocke is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wild River Review, an online magazine committed to connecting people, places and ideas through stories. Stocke, who has published fiction, nonfiction and poetry, has lectured on her travels in Greece and Turkey. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brenner is the West Coast editor for Wild River Review. A former travel bookstore owner, Brenner facilitates travel literature groups and presentations at bookstores and libraries along the West Coast. Both women will speak about Anatolian Days & Nights at Boswell Book Co. on June 28 at 7 p.m.