Not many people read my blog, but a couple of thoses who do have suggested turning it into a book. I don’t know about that. But I do know (in the internet sense) someone who did turn his expat blog into a book: Jack Scott, who writes the popular blog Perking the Pansies, is now the best-selling author of the eponymous memoir.
Perking the Pansies is about expat life in a small town near Bodrum, where Jack and his husband Liam settled after moving from London. This isn’t your typical travel story about discovering the quaint charm of a foreign country. This is a very personal memoir in which Turkey makes a colorful backdrop. Interestingly, Jack and Liam adjust pretty well to Turkish customs such as receiving a bag of bloody bones from their neighbors on Kurban Bayram. They seem to have more trouble dealing with the other expats with whom they are expected to socialize.
One of the things that distinguishes Jack’s book from others in the genre is his unique voice, which jumps right off the page. I could hear his posh London accent (I’m imagining it posh) in my head as I was reading. That dry, British humor was so entertaining that at times I felt like I was reading a lost Oscar Wilde play. So I literally (yes, I mean literally) laughed out loud at the point when Jack uttered the line “Yes, Lady Bracknell, a handbag!”.
But it’s not all cheerio and jolly good. There’s horrifying violence when a friend is the victim of a hate crime. There’s frustration and suspense as a couple fight social services for the return of their adopted daughter. And there are moments when Jack’s memories of his late partner moved me to tears. So yes, I laughed and I cried. This quick read packs quite the punch.
Whether you’re curious about expat life in Turkey or you simply enjoy well-written memoirs of interesting, amusing people, try Perking the Pansies. I think you’ll enjoy it. I bought mine in Kindle format, but it’s available as an actual paperback as well.Google+