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Defining Expat Lit -- live on Twitter May 29

Expatriate literature may be stocked in the travel section, but does it deserve a shelf of its own?

Living for extended periods in foreign locales, expatriates struggle to reestablish themselves and find meaningful access to their new home. Travelers passing through often have the luxury to avoid the very issues of assimilation and identity that dominate the expat psyche. On Twitter's #LitChat May 25-29 we'll talk about the unique depths this can bring to expat lit’s combination of outsider-view-from-the-inside and journey of self-realization.

Creating and editing my anthology Tales from the Expat Harem, my coeditor and I prompted each writer to relate what she learned about Turkey, and what that lesson taught her about herself. Journeys of self realization, Turkey as backdrop. I believe the result is distinct from most travel collections because the women's tales show how Turkish culture affects their lives as they navigate their way into friendship, neighborhood, wifehood, and motherhood.

I will guest host the Expat Lit #LitChat on Friday, May 29th (4-5pm EDT). Please join us if you're a reader, writer, fan or critic of expatriate literature!

Don't be daunted if you've never participated in a live Twitter chat. It's easier than you think. Either use Twitter search with the term "LitChat" to see the on-going discussion, or follow through TweetChat.

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You can view the transcripts from the week of expat lit chats (and my session on Fri May 29, which had 300 posts by readers and writers of fiction and nonfiction expat lit) here: