Judy Light Ayyildiz

Educator, Author, Speaker, Workshop Leader

Selected Works

Poetry
Front Cover Art work copyright permission for use by K. Kamal Ayyildiz “Foreword” to works by Dr. Erin Webster Garrett, Professor at Radford University
“Unforced and authentic, which is pretty rare today.”
–-William Packard, NYQ Review
a NOVEL based on an oral biography of a Turkish woman of the past century placed in a historical frame
This novel is a history of Turkey from 1900 to the present, from the sultanate to the republic, of wars, revolutions and the changes within a nation, of a family and of a woman, a saga, a love story between a man and woman and a woman with her country.
Memoir
Spiritual strength from moving, insightful, yet humorous stories of the people and experiences in Judy's life.
Fiction and Nonfiction, Children Ages 6-12
An American grandson of a Turkish immigrant learns about his Turkish and Ottoman heritage.

My Books and Features

SOME REVIEWS FOUND ON AMAZON ABOUT JLA's PUBLISHED BOOKS

Eris Field reviewed FORTY THORNS
In a cauldron of change, adaptation is key September 1, 2015
Forty Thorns is fascinating read that beginners and advanced students of Ottoman history will love. It is an amazing portrayal of the tempestuous period of time during which the once powerful and elegant Ottoman Empire crumbled from within while rapacious statesmen from England, France, and Italy decided how to divide the spoils of war. It is the story of change and survival. On one level, the story describes Mustafa Kemal...Read More
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Mary LaValley reviewed FORTY THORNS
Forty Thorns January 23, 2014
I purchased this book for a book club read. Our group includes the granddaughter of Turkish and Syrian natives together with a woman who toured Turkey with her family entertaining troups. Skillfully written, Judy brings Adelet to life for all of us to admire her endurance and fortitude. It provides an excellent summary of the historical struggles of the region and a touching story of family.
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Natalia Kozyakova reviewed FORTY THORNS
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Both emotional and intellectual read November 15, 2013
This book is an incredible depiction of both Turkish history and role of woman in ... actually any religion just some time ago. I could not put this book down and the fact that I finished it in just 4 days (having a full time job) can tell how engaging it was. A few times during reading I turned to reference books to learn more about some historical events (the book traces the history but it is not the goal, so details should...Read More
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Jackie Kazanci reviewed FORTY THORNS
Great book! May 6, 2013
I purchased this book purely to review it for a local Turkish magazine. What a shock!. As a non Turkish person married to a Turk, I found it
amazing. It is essentially a woman's book and covers many issues common to all women no matter where they live. It provides an interesting insight into the
younger generation of Turkish women raised with legal equality as a result of Ataturk and the conflict this presents in...Read More
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H. William Gruchow reviewed MUD RIVER: Third Edition
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Bared Images April 16, 2013
Engaging the reader with an easy, disarming cadence, Judy Ayyildiz delivers bared images of life experiences, that transform them from ordinary. And she drives home the reality of these images with pointed, often startling, word choices. Stimulating, provocative and satisfying reading.
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Rita M. Herbst reviewed FORTY THORNS
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Forty Thorns October 28, 2012
Forty Thorns is the featured book for November 2012 of the Newcomers of Roanoke Book Group. I found the writing clear, precise,and helpful in telling a detailed story. The author takes us into a world hertofar not familiar to me. However, the difficulties of the characters are very similar to many around the world. The member who suggested this book just wanted us to know about women in another part of our world. Good choice.
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George Brandt reviewed NOTHING BUT TIME: A Triumph over Trauma, 2nd Edition
Beautifully Written March 3, 2008
Overcoming a serious life-changing disease is never easy. This book takes readers on a journey from onset and diagnosis to recovery and survival. Along the way the author shares her thoughts and feelings about being a patient. Readers will enjoy listening to family stories and absorbing the sights, smells, and sounds of Judy's native Appalachian region.
Ann Brandt,
Broomfield, Colorado
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Z. Onder reviewed SOME OF MY ANCESTORS ARE OTTOMANS AND TURKS
Great for Turkish children living all over the world March 12, 2007
Finally, a book about being of Turkish descent but written in English. After we read this to our 7 year old son he began to ask questions regarding his family's history and the country itself that we visit every year. I even learned about history myself. The plot is not too exciting because the text is basically a Grandfather telling his grandson about Turkish history. The illustrations are done in vibrant watercolor. Advisable...Read More
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Dilek Kirca reviewed SOME OF MY ANCESTORS ARE OTTOMANS AND TURKS
A nice story-telling of a real history November 2, 2006
Among the variety of multi-cultural children's books in U.S., this is the only one that I found so far that tells about Turkish ancestry. Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic's histories are told in a story format that is both captivating and informative for school-age children. My five-year old loved the water-color illustrations. It was a nice introduction for him to the "old times' Turkiye". I recommend it to all children...Read More
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G. B. reviewed SOME OF MY ANCESTORS ARE OTTOMANS AND TURKS
One of a kind--a pioneer book. Beautifully written and informative. November 21, 2005
This beautiful book helps in understanding the origin of Turkish Society and it is not only for children but also adults who really want to know who are Turkish people.
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Lynn Davis Virginia Tech reviewed NOTHING BUT TIME, 2nd Edition
Can't speed read this one September 5, 2003
Another survivor of GBS, who is also a writer
Only several thousand Americans get this hard-to-diagnose, hard-to-understand disease each year. It continues to baffle doctors and researchers. The excellent writer that she is, Judy Ayyildiz unfolds her horror story of paralysis with characteristic gentleness and sensitivity. Because she interweaves childhood and family memories into her GBS story, which lends interest to...Read More
Vie


THERE IS RELEVANCE TODAY OF WOMEN SUCH AS THE HEROINE OF FORTY THORNS, A NOVEL BASED ON ADALET’S EPIC ORAL HISTORY: The early twentieth century rise of modern Turkey is a profound achievement of the human spirit in an extraordinary movement led by the remarkable Ataturk.
“ Forty Thorns...strides the genres of oral history and historical literary fiction...special value...as social history. Adalet eloped at fifteen, bore seven children and ...In the process lost her own inheritance. What will make the book last though is the quality of the writing. Indeed the book received an International Book Award in 2012 for literary fiction. I recommend this book...to understand modern Turkish society better...useful for classes on the modern Middle East, and on women in the Middle East.”
Journal of Third World Studies, Frances Trix, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, English, Balkan, Turkish, and Middle East Studies, Indiana University

Adalet grapples tremendous change. Hers is the universal woman’s dilemma of repeatedly repositioning herself. As she is forced out from the western provinces of the weakening Ottoman Empire and into the heart of Anatolia and the establishment of the new Turkish Republic, Adalet embodies both the dreams and struggles of the 20th century female. She is disowned for her love. She fights for the new ideals of tomorrow and for her children. She is engendered by war and an era that gave Turkish women a secular voice even before much of the west. But she never is able to buck the traditions and dilemmas faced by a woman determined to own her independence.

How do we find the courage to face loss, grave illness, fear, and pain? A cross-cultural memoir, a tale of the power of the creative spirit that insists on being much more than a tragic victim. She learned to walk again, a spiritual renewal. Judy's experience is told in the voice of her Appalachian heritage. “…an amazing and inspiring story of recovery….such courage, strength, optimism and humor, leaves you feeling uplifted and capable to handle any challenge. As a speaker Judy is energetic and engaging. …very encouraging and a wonderful addition to any library.” —Sharon Shepherd, Executive Director, Martinsville and Henry County Mental Health Association “A crisis allows her life to pass by in slow motion, and so she has interspersed the story of the daily events of rehabilitation with flashes of reminiscence of family, childhood, courtship, child raising and other life events. All combines to make a whole, a pleasing and inspirational story, told with an experienced poet’s eye and pen.” —Sidney Barritt, MD, Book Page, Roanoke Times and World News

THERE IS RELEVANCE TODAY OF WOMEN SUCH AS THE HEROINE OF FORTY THORNS, A NOVEL BASED ON ADALET’S EPIC ORAL HISTORY: The early twentieth century rise of modern Turkey is a profound achievement of the human spirit in an extraordinary movement led by the remarkable Ataturk.

“ Forty Thorns...strides the genres of oral history and historical literary fiction...special value...as social history. Adalet eloped at fifteen, bore seven children and ...In the process lost her own inheritance. What will make the book last though is the quality of the writing. Indeed the book received an International Book Award in 2012 for literary fiction. I recommend this book...to understand modern Turkish society better...useful for classes on the modern Middle East, and on women in the Middle East.”
Journal of Third World Studies, Frances Trix, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, English, Balkan, Turkish, and Middle East Studies, Indiana University

Adalet grapples tremendous change. Hers is the universal woman’s dilemma of repeatedly repositioning herself. As she is forced out from the western provinces of the weakening Ottoman Empire and into the heart of Anatolia and the establishment of the new Turkish Republic, Adalet embodies both the dreams and struggles of the 20th century female. She is disowned for her love. She fights for the new ideals of tomorrow and for her children. She is engendered by war and an era that gave Turkish women a secular voice even before much of the west. But she never is able to buck the traditions and dilemmas faced by a woman determined to own her independence.



How do we find the courage to face loss, grave illness, fear, and pain? NOTHING but TIME, A cross-cultural memoir, a tale of the power of the creative spirit that insists on being much more than a tragic victim. She learned to walk again, a spiritual renewal. Judy's experience is told in the voice of her Appalachian heritage. “…an amazing and inspiring story of recovery….such courage, strength, optimism and humor, leaves you feeling uplifted and capable to handle any challenge. As a speaker Judy is energetic and engaging. …very encouraging and a wonderful addition to any library.”
—Sharon Shepherd, Executive Director, Martinsville and Henry County Mental Health Association
“A crisis allows her life to pass by in slow motion, and so she has interspersed the story of the daily events of rehabilitation with flashes of reminiscence of family, childhood, courtship, child raising and other life events. All combines to make a whole, a pleasing and inspirational story, told with an experienced poet’s eye and pen.”
—Sidney Barritt, MD, Book Page, Roanoke Times and World News



Mud River, Poetry, 3rd Authors Guild edition. Critically acclaimed
by the renowned Fred Chappell
and New York Quarterly founder, William Packard.

*** NEW!! Intervals, Appalachia to Istanbul, MEP “Appalachian Poetry Series”
Author/​Educator, Judy Light Ayyildiz’s 11th book
and 4th collection of poetry: a reflection of experiences
with life begun in the foothills of WV and a leap
into Istanbul
—with Foreword by Professor Erin Webster Garrett—


BOOK CLUBS, LIBRARIES, AND EVENTS
IN THE U.S. AND TURKEY.
with free shipping at www.fortythorns.com ;
www.amazon.com ; Kindle;
www.smashwords.com locally at: TOO MANY BOOKS, TAMERACK,
M & K FOOD SHOP, EMPIRE BOOKS & NEWS

jayyildiz@​aol.com and http:/​www.judylightayyildiz.com

INTERVALS, APPALACHIA TO ISTANBUL
POETRY for Adult and Young Adult General Poetry Readers, High School, University, Poetry Book Clubs, Studies that include a focus on Appalachia and Turkey, Focus on Sociology, Psychological focus on death, separation, change, adaptation, and English studies


KIRK DIKEN (FORTY THORNS)
brief description


Judy teaching a workshop in Istanbul 2006

Nothing but Time
Required list at UVA Chaplaincy Department, VA College Stores Association 2003 Finalist, Library of Virginia Outstanding Book Nominee

“The writing is wonderful (always honest and direct, but questioning, contextualizing, wondering, analyzing) and the pace--through the mixture of flashback and present-tense details--kept me engaged.”
–-Maury Button, The New Press

Some of My Ancestors Are Ottomans and Turks
"One of a kind--a pioneer book. Beautifully written and informative."
-XMLWriter, Turk Books


"The large format 44-page story book is illustrated profusely by her husband Dr. Vedii Ayyildiz. His watercolors drawn with a fluid dreamy style have captured a child's rich innerscape well. This comfortably-breathing bright and handsome book was designed by the talented Karen Perihan Ayyildiz.

"My Ancestors" is the story of a Turkish-American grandfather narrating for his sleepy 8-year old grandson Jim the story of his own Turkish and Ottoman ancestors.

Through a sweeping survey of the last 1200 years of Turkish history, we learn where the Turks once had lived, how they migrated to Anadolu, and who the Ottomans were.

This is a book that also testifies to the "critical mass" that the Turkish-Americans have reached in the United States. It is not an ethnic group consisting of isolated pockets here and there anymore, tucked away in the suburbs of big cities. It is now a rapidly growing American ethnic group that needs its own books to read to its children while they go to sleep at night." Ugur Akinci, TURKISH TORQUE





42 pages. Watercolor illustrations. Includes history, foreign language, origin of words, geography, cross-cultural studies, social studies, and Turkish words with pronunciation and explanation.

Publlished by Greenhouse Bookstore, Istanbul, May '05. Click Quick Links to order or mail author JAyyildiz@aol.com

Mud River
Poems from this 2nd edition volume include: Gusto Press “Discovery Series,” winners, “Poet of the Month” Collage Magazine selections, “Poetics of Music” program aired on public television choices, prize winners, “Third World” anthology pick, and those exhibited in shows with renown artists.

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