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The oppressed yet highly sexualised woman of the Muslim harem is arguably the pivotal figure of Western Orientalism. Yet while Orientalist thinking has recently been challenged, Lewis argues, Western understandings of Middle Eastern culture remain limited, with little attention being paid to the voices of self-identified ‘Oriental’ women who published accounts in English about segregated life, explicitly challenging Western Orientalist stereotypes and intervening in debates about female and national emancipation. This book, the first full-length study of alternative dialogues between Ottoman and Western women and a major contribution to both Middle East and Cultural Studies, looks closely at writings from and about Istanbul by writers including Demetra Vaka Brown, Halide Edib, Zeyneb Hanum, Melek Hanum and Grace Ellison.