Birds Without Wings


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Birds Without Wings tells of the inhabitants of a small coastal town in South West Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman empire: Iskander the Potter and fount of proverbial wisdom; Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty who is courted almost from infancy by Ibrahim the Goatherd, their great love culminating in tragedy and madness; Karatavuk and Mehmet-ik, childhood friends who play in the hills above the town, Mehmet-ik teaching the illiterate Karatavuk how to write Turkish in Greek letters; the two holy men of ...

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Sep 7, 2008

The Turks have it too

Mr de Bernieres is unquestionably talented and I have previously enjoyed one of his book enormously. While this book tells me about provincial life in south-western Turkey much more than I ever wanted to know, I did appreciate the rather complicated action and some of the heroes self-told stories. Not unlike most contemporary novels, this one suffers a little from stylistic longeurs. Overall, a pleasant and smoth reading book and a well written, well told story. The biography of Mustaf Kemal TTaturk, serves well as a nice historical commentary and background.To say more would require enterring into a historical analysis of Turkish history, which defined very much their national character, and of the Balkans, a fascinating, interesting but much too convluted subject. Novels are written and read to enjoy and not to serveas subjects to geopoliical and historic contemplations. (Be careful here , your historian's education is showing!)

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