Author: Hasan Ali Toptaş
Original language: Turkish
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015
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 the day he breaks free.
When Ziya arrives in the village, he is greeted by his old army friend, 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. He is forced back through the tangled web of memory to the time he and Kenan spent defending the treacherous Syrian–Turkish border, in search of the reason his friend feels so extravagantly in his debt.
Hasan Ali Toptaş 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.