The first volume of The Wind from the Plain trilogy by Turkey's leading writer, nominated for the Nobel
Part One in the acclaimed The Wind from the Plain trilogy
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. The Wind from the Plains trilogy is widely seen as his masterpiece, alongside the legendary Memed My Hawk.
Each year the wind brings the news to old Halil's keen senses that the cotton is ripe for picking in the plain, and at his word the entire population of his remote village in the Taurus Mountains set out on the arduous trek.
But this year old Halil finds himself too old to go on foot; so does Long Ali's aging mother, Meryemdje, and both clamour for a place on the back of Long Ali's broken-down nag, scarcely capable of bearing either of the two old people. Halil's determination to stay on and Meryemdje's to get him off lead to a war of words and cunning which lights with delicious comedy the sombre drama of the march. But when the decrepit animal finally dies, and the group falls behind the rest of the villagers, it is the unfortunate Ali who has to show piety towards his mother and compassion to old Halil, while pressing on with dogged resolution to reach the cotton fields before they are picked bare.
The power of The Wind from the Plain, the first volume of The Wind from the Plain trilogy, lies in its simplicity, which in turn lies in the handful of unforgettable characters whose story it tells - the timeless one of survival.
“[He] has the freshness and vigour of a writer who, one suspects, is the exultant discoverer of virgin territory... It asserts its status as literature”
“He speaks for those people for whom no one else is speaking”