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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9781846559280
  • Imprint: Harvill Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 314
  • RRP: $39.99
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Salman The Solitary


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A masterful family saga set against a turbulent backdrop of Turkish history by 'one of the modern world's greatest storytellers' (John Berger)

Turkey’s greatest novelist, Yashar Kemal was an unsurpassed storyteller who brought to life a world of staggering violence and hallucinatory beauty. Kemal’s books delve deeply into the entrenched social and historical conflicts that scar the Middle East. At the same time scents and sounds, vistas of mountain and stream and field, rise up from the pages of his books with primitive force.

It was during the anarchic days when Russian invaders had put the Turkish army to flight and filled the roads of eastern Turkey with a horde of desperate refugees that the Kurdish Ismail Agha, fleeing with his family from his village on the shores of Lake Van, picked up a child left to die by the roadside with maggot-infested wounds.

Thus did Salman become the adopted son of Ismail Agha who, after many reversals of fortune, achieved wealth in his new home. Salman grew up to worship the very ground on which his "father" trod, and to stand armed guard at his gate in all weathers. Change came with the eventual birth of a son, Mustafa, to Ismail Agha, who had come to despair of ever having an heir of his own flesh from his yet too young wife.

Now the green-eyed serpent, Jealousy, entered the household: Mustafa grew up to be terrified of his adoptive brother, a man of unpredictable mood-swings - and impeccable marksmanship. But Jealousy chose a different and quite unexpected target when finally the knives came into play.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9781846559280
  • Imprint: Harvill Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 314
  • RRP: $39.99

About the Author

Yashar Kemal

Yashar Kemal (1923 - 2015) was born on the cotton-growing plains of Chukurova, which feature in his The Wind from the Plain trilogy. His championship of poor peasants lost him a succession of jobs, but he was eventually able to buy a typewriter and set himself up as a public letter-writer in the small town of Kadirli. After a spell as a journalist, he published a volume of short stories in 1952, and then, in 1955, his first novel Memed, My Hawk won the Varlik Prize for best novel of the year. His highly distinguished literary career continued in this vein; his work won countless prizes from all over the world and has been translated into several languages. Kemal was a member of the Central Committee of the banned Workers' Party, and in 1971 he was held in prison for 26 days before being released without charge. Subsequently, he was placed on trial for action in support of Kurdish dissidents. Among the many international prizes and honours he received in recognition of his gifts as a writer and his courageous fight for human rights, were the French Légion d'Honneur and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, as well as being nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kemal was Turkey's most influential living writer and, in the words of John Berger, "one of the modern world's great storytellers".

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