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About the book
  • Published: 24 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473546424
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 108
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To Crush The Serpent




A staggering, shattering novel from Turkey's greatest novelist

A staggering, shattering novel from Turkey's greatest novelist

Since Halil was shot dead in his own home by his wife Esmé's former suitor, the village has pointed the finger of guilt at the dead man's beautiful widow: she must have arranged the murder. The task of vengeance falls on Esmé's little son, Hassan: year after year he is groomed for it, his devotion to his mother sapped with talk of the unavenged ghost of Halil and his father, doomed to roam the countryisde as a translucent red snake, an insect, a bird. Hassan hears tales against his mother. How long will her innocence protect her?

The stark tale of cruelty and vendetta is told in a narrative of relentless tension, reminiscent of Greek tragedy. it is one of Yashar Kemal's most beautiful and haunting novels.

  • Pub date: 24 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473546424
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 108

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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Praise for To Crush The Serpent

“This shattering novel [is] concentrated, lapidary, savage and spare”

Journal de Geneve


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