Memed, My Hawk (NYRB Classics, Used)

by: Yashar Kemal

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Memed, My Hawk by Yashar Kemal / ISBN 9781590171394 / 392-page paperback from New York Review of Books Classics

Some shelfwear and bumps, but in Very Good condition.

***

A tale of high adventure and lyrical celebration, tenderness and violence, generosity and ruthlessness, Memed, My Hawk is the defining achievement of one of the greatest and most beloved of living writers, Yashar Kemal. It is reissued here with a new introduction by the author on the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication.

Memed, a high-spirited, kindhearted boy, grows up in a desperately poor mountain village whose inhabitants are kept in virtual slavery by the local landlord. Determined to escape from the life of toil and humiliation to which he has been born, he flees but is caught, tortured, and nearly killed. When at last he does get away, it is to set up as a roving brigand, celebrated in song, who could be a liberator to his people—unless, like the thistles that cover the mountain slopes of his native region, his character has taken an irremediably harsh and unforgiving form.

"Yashar Kemal is one of those writers who is content with the patch of earth allotted by birth. As in the case of Faulkner, Akhmatova, or even Joyce, all the events described circle around the site of an early injury. These writers evoke landscapes containing people who, however lost they may be in their marginal existences, fix their gaze upon the center of the world and take up residence there. [Kemal is driven to] write against the age and to tell those stories that have not been elevated to the status of affairs of state because they deal with people who never sat on high, who did not dominate but rather were themselves dominated." —Günter Grass