by Hasan Ali Toptas, translated by Maureen Freely and John Angliss - £8.99 Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2016)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781408850909 | ISBN 10: 1408850907
Thirty years after completing his military service Ziya flees the spiralling turmoil of one of Turkey's great sprawling cities to seek a serene existence in a village of which he has long heard dreamlike tales. Having endured two years of gruelling military life, taking brutal orders from a man hiding behind his rank, and then losing his wife and child in a terrorist attack, Ziya has never quite been able to return to the life he once had until one day he breaks free.
Arriving in the village, Ziya is greeted by his old friend from the army, Kenan, who has built and furnished a vineyard house for him. There he is welcomed by Kenan's family, but the village does not provide the total isolation Ziya yearns for and he is forced back through the tangled web of his memory to the time he and Kenan spent defending the treacherous Syrian/Turkish border in search of the reason why Kenan feels so extravagantly in his debt.
Hasan Ali Toptas masterfully blurs the boundaries between dream and reality, truth and memory, past and present, to create a gripping and surprising tale that introduces a major writer to English-language readers for the first time.
(Price & availability last checked: May 2016)