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Maureen Freely: 2013 books of the year list

250Professor Maureen Freely’s seventh novel, published October 2013, has been chosen as one of the 2013 Sunday Times Books of the Year.

Listed in the Literary Novel category it sits in most auspicious company, alongside Margaret Atwood’s latest novel Maddaddam and this year’s book club favourite, John William’s Stoner.

Sailing Through Byzantium has been exceptionally well received by literary critics. Described by the Sunday Times‘ chief fiction reviewer as “glint[ing] with ironic wit”, “enthralling” and “engaging”, and reviewed in The Independent as, “compulsively readable, thought-provoking and entertaining.”

The 1962 Cuban missile crisis provides a threatening hinterland to this novel focused on Istanbul’s raffishly bohemian American expat colony. As Russian tankers secretly freighted with nuclear missiles nudge their way down the Bosphorus, a hyper-imaginative little girl on the lookout for communist agents uncovers betrayals of other kinds. Comic mishaps and painful predicaments are silhouetted against the old imperial capital’s melancholy, mouldering grandeur.

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Maureen Freely

Sunday Times Book of the Year List (Subscription required)