The second novel of SUNY Geneseo Visiting Assistant Professor of English Beyazit Akman has just been published in Turkish by Epsilon, with a first printing of 100,000 copies.
A historical novel, The Last Sepharad: The War of Sultan Bayezid tells of the tragic expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 and the unexpected help they received from the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid, who welcomed tens of thousands of Jews to the Ottoman Empire. The novel interweaves three stories, focusing on that of the Nahmias brothers, who founded the first printing press to publish Hebrew books in Istanbul. It offers an alternative history of multicultural co-existence and religious tolerance. The Last Sepharad is expected to be available in English within a year.
Beyazit Akman received his Ph.D. in English from Illinois State University. He completed his M.A. as a Fulbright Scholar from Turkey. His previous novel, 1453: The World’s First Day (the first part of the Empire series) has become a bestseller in Turkey. It focuses on Christian-Muslim relations in medieval times. Prof. Beyazit’s other publications include articles on “Shakespeare and the Turk,” “Defoe’s Turkish Spy,” and “Travel Knowledge and Orientalism,” as well as book reviews and opinion columns in Turkish national dailies.