Synopses & Reviews
A sweeping epic by Nobel Prize-winner Ivo Andric about power, identity, and Islam set in 19th-century Ottoman Bosnia and Istanbul.
Sarajevo, 1850. It is the story of Omer Pasha Latas, born Mihailo Latas into a Serbian Orthodox family living on the eastern edge of the Hapsburg empire. When Mihailo's chances of a military career in Austria fail, he flees across the border into Ottoman Bosnia. He converts to Islam and makes his way to Istanbul where his exceptional intelligence and qualities as a potential military leader are recognized by the Sultan. Having distinguished himself in mercilessly suppressing uprisings in Albania, Syria and Kurdistan, and subsequently in Montenegro, Herzegovina and Albania, in the year 1850 the Sultan sends Omer Pasha to Bosnia to quell resistance by local landowners to modernizing reforms. Now in the land of his fathers, Omer Pasha's display and misuse of power is all the more urgent but also more complex. Along with an exquisitely drawn array of local characters, Andric portrays a man at once supremely arrogant and pitifully vulnerable, and a city in the grip of fear.