Rebel Land

Rebel Land : Among Turkey's Forgotten Peoples

3.36 (118 ratings by Goodreads)

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What is the meaning of love and death in a remote, forgotten, impossibly conflicted part of the world? In "Rebel Land" the acclaimed author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue journeys to Turkey's inhospitable eastern provinces to find out. Immersing himself in the achingly beautiful district of Varto, a place left behind in Turkey's march to modernity, medieval in its attachment to race and religious sect, he explores the violent history of conflict between Turks, Kurds and Armenians, and the maelstrom, of emotion and memories, that defines its inhabitants even today. The result is a compellingly personal account of one man's search into the past, as de Bellaigue, mistrusted by all he meets, and particularly by the secret agents of the State, applies his investigative flair and fluent Turkish to unlock jealously-guarded taboos and hold humanity's excesses up to the light of a very modern sensibility.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 18mm | 204g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New Ed.
  • 074759676X
  • 9780747596769
  • 432,148

Review quote

'A finely-written, brave and very personal book' Orhan Pamuk 'Sifting through propaganda, partisan accounts and evasive oral histories, de Bellaigue delivers a comprehensive primer in Turkish political history' Guardian 'This marvellous book is a classic, not just of travel writing, but as a simple exposition of a reporter's job; to travel, spend time somewhere, and report. It should also be included on the Turkish education syllabus, but that, I think, will have to wait for a while' Literary Review 'A brilliant literary thriller, an incursion into forbidden territory that is all the more gripping for being true' The Times
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About Christopher de Bellaigue

Christopher de Bellaigue was born in London and has spent the past decade in the Middle East and South Asia. He has worked as a foreign correspondent for a number of publications including the Independent, the Financial Times, the Economist, and the New York Review of Books. His previous book was shortlisted for the 2004 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize He lives in Tehran with his wife and son.
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Rating details

118 ratings
3.36 out of 5 stars
5 14% (16)
4 30% (35)
3 40% (47)
2 14% (16)
1 3% (4)

Our customer reviews

'This journey to Eastern Turkey and the town of Varto where de Bellaigue lived becomes an examination of the way crises and ethnic wars develop where people care deeply about land and spill blood to avoid extinction. De Bellaigue makes the investigation personal and layered; he does not shrink from the obstructions thrown up by bureaucrats or taciturn witnesses; he dares to show the attractive and repellent sides of the participants in these bitter struggles between Turks, Kurds and Armenians. In a region where so much of the past is blurred by denial, this book gives us much greater understanding.' The Orwell Prize is Britain's most prestigious prize for political writing. The Book Prize judges for 2010 were Jonathan Heawood (director, English PEN), Andrew Holgate (literary editor, Sunday Times) and Francine Stock (writer and broadcaster).show more
by The Orwell Prize
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