Set in late Ottoman Constantinople, Frances Kazan’s second novel is loosely based on the early life of Halide Edib and tells the story of two sisters “bound by an extraordinary friendship, and torn apart by their love of radically different men.” “Halide’s Gift” was translated into seven languages.
Praise for Halide’s Gift
“Like an intricately patterned Turkish carpet, Halide’s Gift is a complex tale of intrigue, secrets, superstitions and veiled passions set at the end of nineteenth century Constantinople, a time when change chafes against tradition and a place where East and West rub elbows. With a wealth of exotic detail resulting from meticulous research, Frances Kazan’s sensuous writing draws us into the multi-layered life of a harem and two sisters whose different natures push against ancient proprieties, each in her own way, crystalizing the forces in turbulent conflict. She has turned unknown history into compelling human drama.” — Susan Vreeland, author of GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE
“A memorable read: heartfelt, historical, richly realistic.”—Kirkus Reviews
“I was gripped by Frances Kazan’s evocation of the last days of the Ottoman empire in Halide’s Gift. That strange, fragile world of complex intrigues and compromises is made fully present through her scrupulous attention to individual lives and psychological truth. An impressive novel.” — Pankaj Mishra, author of THE ROMANTICS
“Halide’s Gift tells the story of a remarkable woman’s life as it unfolds in the last years of the Ottoman Empire. The outer world of politics and society forms a wonderful counterpoint to the steady growth and maturation of this inspiring woman’s inner life. Frances Kazan has given us in this radiant novel not only her rich insight into these incredible times, but also a new heroine whom we can admire and from whom there is so much to learn.” — Philip Glass
“This is an enchanting, engrossing novel. Frances Kazan has taken Halide Edib’s true story — her amazing moment in Turkey’s history — and with an alchemy of art and scholarship has turned it into the kind of fiction that illuminates a world.” — Jane Kramer
“HALIDE’S GIFT will haunt you. The story is both moving and mysterious—the women passionate, complicated and noble. Frances Kazan is a writer of exceptional promise.” — Patricia Bosworth