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Two years after his first visit, writer Brendan Shanahan returned to Turkey. After catching up with old friends in Istanbul, he set off on a journey in the country’s secretive east where, among other adventures, he found himself in the middle of a gunfight, was propositioned by a gang of teenage boys and swam to Armenia in his underpants.

Returning to Istanbul, Shanahan agreed to run a friend’s carpet shop. With only the dubious help of a loveable but wildly unstable drug addict, the results were occasionally disastrous, frequently hilarious and often poignant.

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By turns funny, tragic, satirical and affectionate, In Turkey I Am Beautiful is a portrait of a country and a people on the edge, posing eternal questions about friendship, identity and how many carpets one man can possibly need.


“Laugh out loud funny!”

Sydney Morning Herald



“Endlessly observant and curious; real passion underpins his writing”

The Sun Herald



“Brendan Shanahan has produced a memoir full of fascinating anecdotes, rich with warmth, humour and historical context… [he] refuses to generalise, stereotype or patronise.”

The Courier Mail