An English translation of the Letters from Salonica by Jelena Dimitrijevic, accompanied by a substantial critical introduction and a commentary. The book comprises author’s impressions from Salonica in the summer of 1908, in the midst of the Young Turk Revolution. The narrative focuses on the question of the “unveiling” of Muslim women, but also vividly portrays the vanished cityscape of Ottoman Salonica and gives accounts of the city’s Turkish, Jewish, Mu’min, and Greek communities.
6 x 9
When she decided, on that July day in 1908, to change her original destination and instead of Western Europe, to travel to Salonika – after reading in a newspaper that Turkish women “unveiled themselves” – Jelena Dimitrijević did not know that her journey would become a rare and curious testimony of times. An established writer and world traveler, an ardent patriot, the spouse of a Serbian military officer, a feminist who spoke six languages, and whose poems dedicated to beautiful Muslim women already in her youth had brought her the nickname ‘Serbian Sappho,’ Jelena Dimitrijević was soon received in the best houses of Salonika – Turkish,
Dönme, and Greek, including the family of İsmail Enver, one of the leaders of the Revolution – and described her impressions from her six-week journey in ten letters, addressed to her French friend Louise St. Jakšić, professor at the Higher School for Girls in Belgrade.