Tina Caba (Hughes Hall 1966) Ros Elliott-Ozlek and Celia Gasgil
For anyone with an interest in modern Turkey, this delightful collection of true stories is a must-read. Three British teachers record their varying experiences of living in the country, from daily life and local festivals to finding jobs and surviving earthquakes. These amusing and informative recollections provide insight into Turkish culture and also show how the authors have adapted to life in this fascinating world that all three have grown to love.
Shahryar M Khan (Corpus Christi 1953) and Ali Khan (Corpus Christi 1992)
Pakistan is a country beset with politicised instabilities, economic problems, ethnic conflicts, religious fervour and crises of identity. It is also a country in which the game of cricket has become a nationwide obsession. How has that happened? How does a Muslim country, jealous of its independence and determined to forge a Pakistani identity, so passionately embrace the alien gentleman's game imported by the distant and departed former colonial masters? What do we learn of Pakistan from its attitudes and responses to cricket?
The novel follows the journey of a prince who must forge new alliances to avenge the murder of his father in pre-Islamic Arabia. Considering themes of war, peace, freedom and tyranny, King is also a celebration of life and joys of and challenges of the physical world and human relationships.
The endearingly frank memoirs of an optimistic nineteen-year-old student travelling alone across postwar Europe in 1955. Both a ‘rite of passage’ book, and a unique commentary on the social issues of a pre-feminist era without mass tourism, easy communications or the contraceptive pill.
In Edward Ragg’s poetry an extraordinary creative pressure is brought to bear on language to convey what ‘Note on Text’ calls the ‘silent messages / surrounding the truth of words’. Thoughtful, honed and exact, the depths of Ragg’s reflections are matched by the delicacy and precision of his metaphorical language. In poems that move from contemporary Beijing to Vancouver to rural England – or even Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley’ (‘Chateau Musar’) – the compelling force in operation is one that questions dichotomies.
Politicians have a notoriously bad reputation: one recent survey found people trust them less than used-car salesmen. Voter turn-out in most elections is shockingly low; and episodes like the MPs' expenses scandal of 2009 simply serve to confirm the opinion of many that 'they're all as bad as each other'. But deep down, most of us also know we are incredibly lucky to live in a democracy, with freedoms that billions of people across the planet would give anything to enjoy. So we are lucky - but still, we don't like our system and we don't trust our politicians.
Professor Janet Todd (Newnham 1961, President of Lucy Cavendish College)
Over the last 200 years, the novels of Jane Austen have been loved and celebrated across a diverse international readership. As a result, there is a bottomless appetite for detail about the woman behind the writing. Jane Austen traces her life and times; her relationships with family and friends; the attitudes and customs of the time that shaped her and were in turn shaped by her work; and the places where she lived, worked and set her novels, from rural Hampshire to fashionable Bath Spa. Chapters on each of her novels run throughout the book and place them in the context of her life.
Professor Barbara Sahakian (Professor in the Department of Psychiatry) and Dr Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta
Making decisions is such a regular activity that it is mostly taken for granted. However, damage or abnormality in the areas of the brain involved in decision-making can severely affect personality and the ability to manage even simple tasks. Here, Barbara Sahakian and Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta discuss the process of normal decision making - our strategies for making decisions, biases that affect us, and influential factors - and then describe the abnormal patterns found in patients with conditions such as severe depression, Alzheimer's, and accidental brain damage.
Recognised since ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Hanging Garden of Babylon and its location have long remained a mystery. It was on the “must see” list of Greek and Roman travellers centuries after its supposed existence, yet no trace could be found by excavation or in Babylonian inscriptions. So what did it look like? Who made it? How did the tradition arise?