Kaya Genç

Kaya Genç was selected for the 2022 European Press Prize shortlist for ‘An ode to Marmara.’

Kaya Genç is the author of four books: The Lion and the Nightingale (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), Under the Shadow (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), An Istanbul Anthology (American University in Cairo Press, 2015) and Macera (YKY, 2008). The Economist called Under the Shadow a ‘refreshingly balanced’ book whose author ‘has announced himself as a voice to be listened to’; Publishers Weekly said it ‘represents both investigative and literary journalism at their finest’. The Los Angeles Review of Books described An Istanbul Anthology as ‘a compellingly real picture of the city’. The Times Literary Supplement praised the way The Lion and the Nightingale ‘grounds Turkish current affairs in the context of the past couple of decades and explains the attraction of extreme politics to the country’s youth’. Kaya has contributed to the world’s leading journals and newspapers, including two front-page stories in The New York Times, cover stories in The New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs and The Times Literary Supplement, and essays and articles in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Paris Review, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The New Statesman, The Lancet, The New Republic, Time, Newsweek, Apollo, Sight & Sound, Aperture, and The London Review of Books. The Atlantic picked Kaya’s writings for the magazine’s ‘best works of journalism in 2014’ list. A critic for Artforum and Art in America, and a contributing editor at Index on Censorship, Kaya gave lectures at venues including SOAS and the Royal Anthropological Institute, and appeared live on flagship programmes including the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC and BBC’s Start the Week. Kaya has been a speaker at Edinburgh, Jaipur and Ways With Words book festivals. A recipient of two fellowships from Santa Maddalena, he earned his MA degree in English Literature from Universiteit van Amsterdam, and holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Turkey’s first English Literature department at Istanbul University, founded by Eric Auerbach and Halide Edib upon Atatürk’s request in the 1930s. Kaya is the Istanbul correspondent of the Los Angeles Review of Books. According to The Village Voice few books of analysis published about contemporary Turkey come close to Kaya’s work ‘for sheer humanism and breadth of perspective’; Journal of Contemporary European Studies called him ‘a juggler of paradoxes, an assailer of conventional wisdoms and a challenger of foolish optimism’; and The Millions wrote: ‘Genç is arguably the most important Turkish writer writing in English still living in Turkey.’