‘I finished reading Kaya Genc’s Under the Shadow a while ago, but haven’t stopped thinking about it. It’s such an incisive, passionate, moving book, the best thing I’ve read in quite some time. For whatever it’s worth I’m reasonably well informed about world events but Under the Shadow increased my knowledge of Turkey, from its politics to its people, by approximately ten fold. We need books like it in order to get a fuller picture, certainly fuller than the news can provide, of life and crisis, of how life and crisis co-exist, in places where we do not live ourselves.’ – Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours
Kaya Genç is a novelist and essayist from Istanbul. He is the author of Under the Shadow (I.B.Tauris, 2016) and An Istanbul Anthology: Travel Writing through the Ages (American University in Cairo Press, 2015). Upon the publication of his debut novel L’Avventura (Macera) in 2008, he was named one of Newsweek Turkey’s “20 under 40” writers.
In 2015, Kaya’s writing was picked by The Atlantic for the magazine’s ‘best works of journalism in 2014’ list. The Economist called Under the Shadow a ‘refreshingly balanced’ book whose author ‘has announced himself as a voice to be listened to’. According to Publishers Weekly, the book is a ‘fascinating and informative compilation that represents both investigative and literary journalism at their finest’.
Kaya wrote about the mysteries of Hagia Sophia for The Paris Review and the attacks on Istanbul for The New York Times. He covered Istanbul’s transformations for The New Republic. For the London Review of Books website, he wrote about the refugee crisis and the translations of the Little Prince. In The White Review he looked at the history of Turkey’s modernisation. He travelled through the country in search of the ‘New Turkey’ for the New Humanist. His essays about Victorian literature have been appearing in The Times Literary Supplement where, in 2017, he published a cover story about Arthur Conan Doyle. In The Financial Times he reported from Turkey’s divided literary scene. In The Guardian he published stories about coffeehouses and Bartleby’s influence on Turkey’s young activists. His writing has also appeared in Time, Newsweek, Sight & Sound, New Statesman and VICE. Kaya has a PhD in English literature. He is a contributing editor at Index on Censorship and the Istanbul correspondent of The Believer and The Los Angeles Review of Books.