"A most significant yet unsung contribution within the field of Turkish studies over the past quarter of a century has been the work of Barbara K. Walker in collecting, preserving, and sharing Turkish oral narratives with an English-speaking audience.
àThe Art of the Turkish Tale, sets a new direction in Walker's work, one that will be received by folklore specialists and folktale fans alike.
Sarah Moment Atis,
Chair, Middle East Studies Program,
University of Wisconsin-Madison
President, Turkish Studies Association
This collection should be read, first and foremost, for its inherent pleasure. Like all literary arts, the art of the tale's primarily a genre of joy. Traditional stories, modern storytelling, and the Walker versions cohere in giving us the pleasure of real life and imaginary events. These stories are full of delight. Although many of them go back several centuries, some perhaps more than a millennium, they sound fresh, almost contemporary. They should be savored for their optimism, because virtually every tale resolves a dilemma or saves the good person from a terrible plight. No wonder most of the tales culminate in the celebratory couplet:
They have had their wish fulfilled;
Let's go up to their bedstead.
Talat Sait Halman,
Turkey's former Minister of Culture,
then Ambassador for Cultural Affairs;
now Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, New York University