The Yogurt Man Cometh: Tales of an American Teacher in Turkey
by Kevin Revolinski
Experience a year living in Turkey!
Now in its 5th Printing!
Part travelogue, part memoir, The Yogurt Man Cometh is the story of Revolinski’s year-long adventure as an English teacher in Turkey, with all of its ups and downs and its constant surprises. From his home base working for a private school in Ankara, he relates in remarkably candid style his encounters in a foreign culture: his first experiences as a teacher, forays into classroom discipline, navigation of a new language, attempts at cross-cultural flirtation, explorations of timeless and surreal landscapes, acquisition of a taste for raki and success at making numerous lasting friendships–all told with an open mind and a sense of humor. An enjoyable read for anyone who has spent time in Turkey or who plans to do so; Revolinski’s observations will resonate with those of any outsider who has come to love Turkey and Turkish culture.
Check out audio and video interviews with Kevin Revolinski
“What do you do with six kilos of unwanted yogurt, and two strange men who want you to pay them an outrageous three million Turkish lira for it? Kevin Revolinski knows, and does it, and lives to tell us all about it and his many other adventures in Turkey. Humorous, insightful, informative and sensitive, this fluently-written memoir gets deep into what makes Turkey the wonderful–if somewhat surprising–place that it is.”
Tom Brosnahan, author of Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea and the original Lonely Planet: Turkey
More from Tom Brosnahan:”When I first read Kevin Revolinski’s wonderful memoir, The Yogurt Man Cometh: Tales of an American Teacher in Turkey, I burst out laughing. It was so much like my own experiences in Turkey that I wondered if I had an alter ego.
“Kevin Revolinski went to Turkey as an English teacher for a year (1997-98), just as I had done thirty years earlier (1967-68). Despite the differences in time, his memoir vividly describes the same place that I grew to know and love, which must testify to the authenticity of Revolinski’s experience.”
“The Yogurt Man Cometh is as entertaining as it is informative – as well as being especially recommended reading for anyone considering embarking upon their own business or recreational trip to Turkey.” Midwest Book Review
“[Revolinski] does a fabulous job of describing his surroundings, working in Turkish phrases, and making me hungry for all of the food he describes. He’s also got a knack with telling details&ldots;Undisputedly, though, the best part of the story is Revolinski’s relationships with the children he teaches, many of whom demand to know if he is married, what his favorite futbol team is, and how he is liking Turkey.” Nonfiction Readers Anonymous
“Yogurt Man offers a hilarious firsthand account of life in a foreign country, and Revolinski introduces the reader to a cast of zany, interesting characters.” The Capital Times
“I really enjoy reading memoirs and travelogues by foreigners on the subject of Turkey. Such accounts of social history written from a different perspective enable me to see ourselves as others see us. One such account is the memoirs of Kevin Revolinski.” C. Cem Oguz from Turkish Daily News
A related article from the Turkish daily Zaman
Kevin Revolinski’s articles and photography have appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, and Sydney Morning Herald. He is the author of The Wisconsin Beer Guide: A Travel Companion and several other guidebooks and works of short fiction. He lived in Ankara, Turkey in 1997 and 1998 and has traveled back there several times since. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
From The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, Friday, November 17, 2006
(as featured in “Literary Lunch” by Heather Lee Schroeder)
ENTRÉE: A new hit arriveth
Madison author Kevin Revolinski’s new memoir/travelogue “The Yogurt Man Cometh: Tales of an American Teacher in Turkey” has sold 1,000 copies out of a 2,000-copy press run since its August release. Many of those books were sold in Turkey, but the author says he’s delighted with the book’s reception so far.
Indeed, “Yogurt Man,” which recounts the year the author spent teaching in Turkey, was published there, so it’s not so surprising that he would find an audience in the country.
“Yogurt Man” offers a hilarious firsthand account of life in a foreign country, and Revolinski introduces the reader to a cast of zany, interesting characters.
In a way, the book owes at least a small part of its genesis to Madison. Revolinski made a move from working as a marketing coordinator to a teacher after attending a Michael Feldman show. Revolinski said in a recent telephone interview that he spent the entire show hoping Feldman wouldn’t ask him “What do you do?” because he didn’t want to answer the question.
Not long after that, Revolinski went back to school at Edgewood College and got his teaching certification, which allowed him to get a teaching job in Turkey. “Living somewhere is the best way to travel,” Revolinski said.
Revolinski, who grew up in Marshfield and wrote “The Wisconsin Beer Guide,” said “Yogurt Man” started as e-mails about his experiences to friends and family. People started forwarding the e-mails to their friends, and the author realized he had a small audience of readers who eagerly anticipated his next installment.
Eventually, a friend told Revolinski that he thought there might be a book in the e-mails. “That was the spark that made me think, I do have to take this seriously,’ ” he said.
Despite this support from friends and family and an initial burst of enthusiasm, he found himself dragging his feet on the project. He let the book sit untouched for a year. Then he went back to Turkey and saw his former boss, who pushed him to find a publisher. Revolinski ended up working with Citlembik, an Istanbul-based publishing house run by American expatriates.
In the intervening years since he lived in Turkey, Revolinski has traveled extensively. In 2003 and 2004, he lived in southern Italy in Reggio Calabria, which he describes as “the ugliest city in all of Italy.”
“They rebuilt the city in a not-so-pretty style,” Revolinski said of the city’s revival after a devastating earthquake in the early 1900s.
He’s currently making Madison his home base, and he’s working on his next book, tentatively titled “My Private Italy.” Like “Yogurt Man,” the new book will be largely character-driven, describing Revolinski’s interactions with his neighbors and local eccentrics.