Maureen Freely

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Maureen Freely

BornJuly 1952 (age 70–71)
Neptune, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationJournalist, novelist, professor, and translator
Alma materHarvard College
SpousePaul Spike
ParentsJohn Freely (father)

Maureen Deidre Freely FRSL (born July 1952) is an American journalist, novelist, professor, and translator. She has worked on the Warwick Writing Programme since 1996.[1]


Born in Neptune, New Jersey, she is the daughter of author John Freely,[2] and has a brother, Brendan.[3] Maureen Freely grew up in Turkey. She graduated from Harvard College. She now lives in England.

She is the mother of four children and two step-children. She was married to Paul Spike, with whom she had a son and a daughter.

Freely is an atheist.[4]


Freely lectures at the University of Warwick[5] and is an occasional contributor to The Guardian and The Independent newspapers. From 2014 to 2018 she served as president of English PEN, the founding centre of PEN International.[6][7][8]

Among her novels is The Life of the Party, set in Turkey. She has also written The Other Rebecca, a contemporary version of Daphne du Maurier's classic 1938 novel Rebecca.[9] Freely is also an occasional contributor to Cornucopia, a magazine about Turkey.

She is best known as the Turkish-into-English translator of Orhan Pamuk's recent novels. She works closely with Pamuk on these translations, because they often serve as the basis when his work is translated into other languages.[9] They were both educated simultaneously at Robert College in Istanbul,[10] although they did not know each other at the time. Marie Arana praised Freely's translations of Pamuk works like Snow, Istanbul: Memories and the City, and The Museum of Innocence as "vibrant and nimble" translations.[11]

Freely translated and wrote an introduction to Fethiye Çetin's memoir, My Grandmother.[12]

Freely was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2012.[13]



  • Sailing Through Byzantium (2013)
  • Enlightenment (2008)
  • The Other Rebecca (2000)
  • Mother's Helper (1982)
  • The Stork Club (1995)
  • What About Us (1996)
  • The Parent Trap (2002)
  • Under the Vulcania (1994)
  • The Life of the Party (1986)


of Orhan Pamuk:

of Fethiye Çetin:

  • My Grandmother (2008)
  • The Grandchildren (2014) (Authored with Ayşe Gül Altınay)

of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar:

of Sait Faik Abasıyanık:

  • A Useless Man[1] (2014) (Translated with Alexander Dawe)

of Sabahattin Ali:

  • Madonna in a Fur Coat [14] (2016) (Translated with Alexander Dawe)

of Tuba Çandar:

  • Hrant Dink : An Armenian Voice of the Voiceless in Turkey (2016)

of Suat Derviş:

  • In the Shadow of the Yali (2021)

of Sevgi Soysal:

  • Dawn (2022)

of Tezer Özlü:

  • Cold Nights of Childhood (2023)


  1. ^ a b c "Professor Maureen Freely - University of Warwick". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  2. ^ Jason Goodwin (n.d.). "Enlightenment (book review)". Washington Post Book World. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  3. ^ Freely, Maureen (25 November 2003). "Istanbul after the bombs". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  4. ^ "Hijuelos has a way of making even the most uninspiring life unique, the ugliest scene beautiful. This devout atheist was moved and at moments even transported." Maureen Freely, reviewing Mr Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos, The Guardian (London), December 17, 1995, p. 15.
  5. ^ Staff page Archived November 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, University of Warwick.
  6. ^ "English PEN announces new President". English PEN. 2014.
  7. ^ Farrington, Joshua (12 March 2014). "Maureen Freely voted English PEN president". The Bookseller. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  8. ^ "Philippe Sands QC appointed President of English PEN". English PEN. 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  9. ^ a b Freely, Maureen (2006). "Languages in my life". The Linguist. 45 (4): 108–110.
  10. ^ Freely, Maureen (May 2007). "Why they killed Hrant Dink". Index on Censorship. 36 (2): 15–29. doi:10.1080/03064220701334477. S2CID 145049618. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2008.
  11. ^ Arana, Marie (8 October 2012). "SILENT HOUSE Orhan Pamuk". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  12. ^ Çetin, Fethiye, My Grandmother: A Memoir, 2008.
  13. ^ "Maureen Freely". The Royal Society of Literature.
  14. ^ Freely, Maureen. "Sabahattin Ali's Madonna in a Fur Coat – the surprise Turkish bestseller". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2016.