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

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.

Moooove along to an indie bookstore!

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