Saturday, July 05, 2008

40 Camel Girl

40 Camel Girl (Letters from Turkey) is the name of a book by E.Grace Beyler going round my family. The letters were written between 1969 and 1971, from an American girl to living in Turkey with the family of her fiance,back to her parents in USA.
This was a good time for me, my liberation in London, my first job in Battersea, shopping in the Kings Road on Saturdays, concerts several nights a week, Gauloise and David Clulows , Kaftans and old fur coats gleaned from ancient aunts.
Grace Beyler stayed with PTB(Poor Turkish Boy) and his parents in Kavakli after an amazing overland trip from London in a VW called Dagmar. It reminded me that my flatmates travelled to Istambul and back ,in 1970 ,in a group from London in a Transit , for a holiday. I thought it was such an exciting thing to do , but did not have the courage to join them.
Grace remained en famille whilst PTB did his National Service. The letters were so funny, details of all the intimate family members, and extended family;the moslem conventions for the role of women in Society were so alien to me from those of the west. I learned more about Turkey in this book than I have ever before, it is a compelling read. I am trying to get some more copies of this OP book, and have e-mailed the author who is sending me some. Sometimes a book is so good you want all A level students to read it or all teenagers, this one should be read by all moaning women.


  1. Hi, I read the book and it is a nice book. I enjoyed reading really. Can you give me the email address of our daughter-in-law?? Thanks a lot in advance ....

  2. Sorry -I have no e mail for the author. I have given the book away too so cannot see if there are any contact details.