Fleeing anger in America, James Baldwin found solace in 1960s Turkey – Kareem Fahim / Wash Post

There is no trace of James Baldwin in the four-story building where he lived for a time, decades ago, on Ebe Hanim street, and where the mention of his name now draws blank stares. The bar where Baldwin drank up the hill from the apartment has vanished, too, lost in the garish renovation of the old Park Hotel.

A plaque in the lobby mentions the hotel’s most notable visitors, including Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. But not Baldwin, who was reaching the height of his international fame when he lived in Turkey but was hardly bothered as he walked the streets of 1960s Istanbul: a star, to be sure, but mostly among a small firmament of dear collaborators and friends.

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