A young Greek girl comes of age in the twilight atmosphere of early twentieth-century
Constantinople: a story of love, sexual awakening, and the pain of loss against the
backdrop of ethnic rivalry and political turmoil.
About City of Man’s Desire
About Cornelia Golna
Constantinople 1908: the cosmopolitan capital of the Ottoman Empire teeters on the
brink of upheaval. Turks dream of liberty while the subject peoples yearn for freedom
– not necessarily the same thing. Far from the turmoil of Constantinople, in the
Anatolian hinterland, archeologists are excavating an ancient city. There they uncover
a past that seems to hold within it a warning for the present.
The Greek girl Theodora Vlachos has other things on her mind.
Cornelia Golna grew up and studied in the United States. The child of a Greek father
and a Romanian mother, she left America as a young woman to search for her roots,
a journey that took her to Greece and Turkey, ultimately to communist Romania. She
was inspired by her odyssey to delve deeper into the past of her parents’ Balkan
world, to its fascinating predecessor, the dying Ottoman Empire, which became the
backdrop of her novel, City of Man’s Desire: A Novel of Constantinople.