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Letter from America

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Whatever happened to the Wasp? By Melik Kaylan

I recently visited the rural heartland of America. It was the first time I’d been to Indiana or the dreamy farmlands and far horizons of legend. My son and I flew in from New York, and then drove for some hours cross-country – very flat country, flatter than Norfolk – to inspect the campus of Purdue University. I found myself instantly overcome by a deep sense of homecoming – which is a bit odd, considering. I’ve led a peripatetic life. I was born in Istanbul, and grew up in the UK very anglicised: boarding school (Clifton College), guardians, hymns, Victorian houses, an English literature degree. Then I ended up living in the Big Apple for three decades. You’d think the Midwest would hardly echo any deep, internal notion of hearth and home for a fragmented cosmopolitan identity like mine.  But there it was. The widespread feeling of friendliness, the innate...


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