Salman the Solitary

by Yasar Kemal

I found it difficult to get into this book as the main character hardly appears in the first 120 pages, but if you persevere you will be rewarded with both a haunting story of indentity punctuated with racial tension and some vivid insights into Kurdish culture.


Bright moonlight flooded the valley where the village lay. In a corner of the courtyard Salman stood, stiff and motionless, singing a strange old time song in a muffled undertone. The village children were playing hidie-hole ....
Salman's shadow, two, three times his size, fell dark and long, over the dust of the yard, and the children could distinguish the rifle slung over his shoulder. Even in the very heat of the game, they could not help glancing at that huge dark shadow, and each time they would scamper off as far as they could to avoid seeing it.

Translated by Thilda Kemal


Memed my Hawk by Yasar Kemal

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