Set Free Your Flow

A Centered View

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
196 Pages
Reviewed on 11/17/2021
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Author Biography

SELIN SENOL-AKIN is an adjunct language instructor, human rights activist, award-winning writer and New York mom. 'Set Free Your Flow' is the sequel poetry collection (in memoir form) to the acclaimed #1 release 'Write Out Your Drops', soon to be released in audiobook format.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Set Free Your Flow: A Centered View is an autobiographical account relating the life story of Selin Senol-Akin, an acclaimed professor, author, human rights activist, and poet. Through her poetic verses and essays, Selin Senol-Akin provides readers with a rare glimpse into the lives of children of immigrant parents who find themselves torn between clashing cultures. The book opens with a poem titled "A Centered View", which encapsulates the very essence of being raised in an immigrant family in America. It explores the conflict that lies within one's soul, a conflict that arises when contrasting views pull your psyche in opposite directions. The book follows Selin's life in contemporary America as a modern feminist with her roots in Turkey, who is fighting a brave battle against the imprisonment of her husband by an authoritarian regime.

Set Free Your Flow: A Centered View is an inspirational and thought-provoking autobiography that leaves a lot to ponder on long after you've finished reading the book. Author Selin Senol-Akin gives an unflinching account of her life as a modern Turkish American trying to navigate traditional and modern values without losing her unique identity. There are some truly heartbreaking aspects to her story, from men in positions of power trying to take advantage of vulnerable women to raising a daughter as a single mother due to her husband falling victim to a totalitarian regime's whims. I found the poems intimate and breathtakingly beautiful. Her essays give keen insight into the lives of bicultural people. Highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Set Free Your Flow: A Centered View is a work of non-fiction in the autobiographical subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Selin Senol-Akin. This work contains an open and frank discussion of the issues that arise in multicultural communities such as the author’s own experiences of growing up in New York as someone of Turkish heritage. By engaging with both sides of the cultural coin, the author has found a centered view from which to guide readers through the many issues faced by young people being raised in the United States who are also from non-white ethnic groups.

Set Free Your Flow was a fascinating read as it discussed two worlds that are equally alien to me, yet having read it, I feel like I’ve gained a level of understanding that I hadn’t previously considered achievable for an outsider looking inward. Selin Senol-Akin’s ability to switch between the emotionally invested personal anecdotes of her life growing up between two worlds and the passive and objective assessment of those stories gives this work both a robust grounding in the realities of the Turkish-American experience and an almost academic discussion of those realities. Set Free Your Flow is a must-read for people wanting to discuss the big issues faced by young immigrants but don’t have the position of understanding through experience of their own. The author is frank, honest, and open in this analysis of her experiences and given how prevalent these issues are in modern society. I must recommend this book to anyone wishing to expand their social awareness beyond their first-hand experiences.

Astrid Iustulin

Some lives can be told in chronological order, while others stand out better through a series of essays and poems that highlight some specific themes. Set Free Your Flow: A Centered View by Selin Senol-Akin is the sequel to Write Out Your Drops and focuses on the author's dichotomy. Of Turkish origin but raised in America, Senol-Akin deals with a variety of topics. In particular, she discusses the relationship with her parents (and the lack of a father figure), and relationships in general, socialization, being a parent, and creativity. She also recounts the ordeal of her husband, a political prisoner in Turkey. Senol-Akin writes her reflections in both prose and poetry, with a personal and direct style that is striking in its clarity.

The dichotomy is a fascinating and complex subject that requires great skill to be explained as it deserves. Selin Senol-Akin has this exceptional gift, and she demonstrates it perfectly in Set Free Your Flow. In this splendid book, she explores some of the more frequent dichotomies we can find in our everyday life and adds to them the characteristic of being born in one culture and raised in another. The most touching part of Set Free Your Flow is, in my opinion, the long letter that Senol-Akin's husband wrote to his daughter from prison, which makes this valuable book even more meaningful. Set Free Your Flow helps all of us reflect on the dichotomy and deserves to be read carefully so as not to miss any of its interesting content.