In 2003, when the shockwaves of 9/11 still echoed through the US and the country was fighting two wars in Muslim countries, Matt Krause met a beautiful Turkish woman on an airplane and decided to follow her to Turkey. This is the story of what happened there.
Matt figured adjusting to life in Turkey would entail some challenges, and he certainly wasn't disappointed. He survived bomb attacks, lost his cool around beggar kids, drove a jewelry business into the ground, and got into fistfights over parking. Along the way though, he saw beauty in ruins older than the Roman Empire, was wowed by tales of Bulgarian freedom fighters, tried not to hit cows in the road, and drank plenty of peach-flavored Lipton iced tea.
Scenes take place in locations known and loved by those familiar with Istanbul and Turkey: Taksim, Istiklal, the Kapali Carsi (Covered Bazaar), the Rumeli Hisari, Kusadasi, Ephesus, and more.
A Tight Wide-open Space is the story of falling in love not only with a woman, but with a city and a country.
Turkey's English-language daily newspaper Today's Zaman calls the book "an immensely readable and pleasing account of five years in Turkey."
Adventures in Expat Land says the book "stays with you, lingering in your subconscious. It's akin to overhearing someone half-singing, half-whispering a dreamy, jazzy ballad to their beloved."