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The Crazy Turk of New York City

Fact and Fiction in Erje Ayden’s Work

Gönül Pultar

Pages 139 - 158


This essay introduces Turkish-American author Erje Ayden and his work. Both have thus far been neglected in the twenty-first century scholarship, although Ayden had been a veritable legend in Greenwich Village during his lifetime. Most of his self-published novels are being currently reissued by various publishers. This essay discusses the unique amalgam of fact and fiction they contain, focusing on ‚The Crazy Green of Second Avenue‘ and ‚The Legend of Erje Ayden‘. It argues that his novels are ensconced within a tradition of the twentieth-century American novel, and that some reveal pioneering work in the non-fiction novel genre. Ayden is moreover able to articulate the predicament of the Turkish-American who finds him/herself situated in two different social and cultural milieus.


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