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.