The Foundling, The

The Foundling, The

Hardback

By (author) Yasar Kemal, By (author) Yashar Kemal, Translated by Thilda Kemal

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  • Publisher: The Harvill Press
  • Format: Hardback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 240mm x 31mm | 620g
  • Publication date: 1 March 1998
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1860463894
  • ISBN 13: 9781860463891
  • Illustrations note: illustrations

Product description

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, famished refugees that the Kurdish Ismail Agha, fleeing to Cilicia with his family from his village on the shores of Lake Van, picked up a child left to die by the roadside with atrocious, maggot-infested wounds. Thus did Salman become the adopted son of Ismail Agha who, after many reversals of fortune, achieved a considerable prosperity 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 reached an age 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. The story of Salman, Mustafa and their father is set against the rural cycle of tilling, planting and harvesting, but also of chronic turbulence - raids, vendettas, abductions, arson, inter-tribal quarrels and, as a constant undertone, the vicious village gossip forever choosing a new mark for its persecution.

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Editorial reviews

A 1980 novel by the Turkish author (Sea-Crossed Fisherman, 1985, etc.) renowned for his colorful dramatizations of his country's endangered traditions and folkways. It's a story of familial - and, by implication, ethnic - conflict, set in the Anatolian mountains, about one Ismail Agha, a wealthy Kurd whose adopted Armenian son grows to become a threat to his less militaristic (and weaker) natural son Mustafa. The tensions between Salman and Mustafa are blatantly overdrawn, but in the interpolated tale of Halib, a poor mountain villager mercilessly abused by a cruel landlord, Kemal contrives a lean and powerful story of vengeance that, while scorning to digress or preach (this writer's glaring weakness), vibrates with the swiftness and resonance of myth. (Kirkus Reviews)