I’d read The Bosphorus Dogs: it raised funds successfully through Kickstarter last year, but it won’t be published until 2015 apparently. Why so long? Who knows.

But we do know it’s a “character-driven, literary novel set in Turkey, mostly in Istanbul", according to Zabor, that begins in September 2003.

Three main characters, an American expat in his fifties, now teaching in a local college; his estranged grown up daughter; and a Israeli friend of the expat’s, are the main engine for the action. The intriguing bit based on this tiny summary is the last of the three, as he or she (Zabor leaves it open so far) may or may not be a stringer for Mossad.

Zabor says “Istanbul’s roving dog packs do get a mention and a look, but the title refers more generally to anyone who has come to Byzantium-Constantinople-Istanbul for a scrap of its old and new glories and a richer sense of life."

I’m a big fan of The Bear Comes Home, Zabor’s earlier much celebrated novel about a saxophone-playing bear. If you like any author, and appreciate the style, sincerity and energy of the writing, the little indulgences, quirks and irregularities, particularly someone as funny, engaging and knowing as Zabor, then the subject matter is less important.

If it corresponds with something you’re interested in deeply than it’s even better. But he could write about marmalade or gorse bushes or tiny little trinkets or great big sculptures and I’d probably read it.  I won’t even be too disappointed if it is a dog: promise. Stephen Graham