Kindred Voices A Literary History of Medieval Anatolia Michael Pifer

Publication date:
27 Jul 2021
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 156 x 24mm
7 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

The fascinating story of how premodern Anatolia’s multireligious intersection of cultures shaped its literary languages and poetic masterpieces

By the mid-thirteenth century, Anatolia had become a region of stunning cultural diversity, home not only to Armenians and Greeks, but also to Persians, Turks, Arabs, Mongols, Jews, and others. Kindred Voices explores how the Muslim and Christian poets of Anatolia grappled with the multilingual and multireligious worlds they inhabited, attempting to impart resonant forms of religious instruction to their intermingled communities. This unique, under-studied convergence produced fresh poetic styles and sensibilities, native to no single people or language, that enabled the period’s literature to reach new and wider audiences. This is the first book to study the era’s major Persian, Armenian, and Turkish poets, from roughly 1250 to 1340, against the canvas of this broader literary ecosystem. Although these poets were later constructed as foundational figures in their own “national” literary histories, they first emerged, before the rise of the Ottomans, from a shared and fraught terrain.

Michael Pifer is lecturer in Armenian language and literature at the University of Michigan. His publications include the coedited volume An Armenian Mediterranean: Words and Worlds in Motion. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI.