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Memed, My Hawk (New York Review Books Classics)by Yashar Kemal
Synopses & Reviews
Memed, My Hawk is an epic story of the Middle East by modern Turkey's greatest novelist. Memed grows up in a remote and desperately poor mountain village that suffers under the thumb of the local landlord. Lively and adventurous, young Memed seeks to escape from a life of grueling toil. He runs away, but is quickly tracked down; brought back, he finds himself subjected to an even more backbreaking and spirit-crushing burden of work. When Memed escapes again, it is to set up as a roving brigand, celebrated in song, perhaps a liberator of his people. Or perhaps, twisted like the thistles that cover the windy slopes of the mountains, his character has taken on an irremediably harsh and brutal form. Tenderness and violence, generosity and ruthlessness explode unpredictably in this tale of high adventure. In Memed, My Hawk, the most intimate allegiances draw them a dense and clinging web of history and politics, and the story, full of passion and excitement, is overshadowed by a sorrow that is tragic and real.
A tale of high adventure and lyrical celebration, tenderness and violence, generosity and ruthlessness, Memed, My Hawk is the defining achievement of one of the greatest and most beloved of living writers, Yashar Kemal. It is reissued here with a new introduction by the author on the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication.
Memed, a high-spirited, kindhearted boy, grows up in a desperately poor mountain village whose inhabitants are kept in virtual slavery by the local landlord. Determined to escape from the life of toil and humiliation to which he has been born, he flees but is caught, tortured, and nearly killed. When at last he does get away, it is to set up as a roving brigand, celebrated in song, who could be a liberator to his people—unless, like the thistles that cover the mountain slopes of his native region, his character has taken an irremediably harsh and unforgiving form.
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