They Burn Thistles

Author(s): Yasar Kemal


This is the story of a bitter war between the poor Turkish peasants of the Taurus Mountains and the Aghas who covet their land. Ali Safa has determined to take possession of the village of Vayvay but its inhabitants will not sell. Then one villager weakens, prepared to part with his land in return for the Agha's best stallion. But this ill-fated deal sets in motion a chain of events which will see the young brigand Slim Memed take up the cause of the poor once again, with dramatic consequences.


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"[A] master storyteller" New York Times "[Kemal's] work, and, when all is said and done, his life, are injected with a burning humanism and a fierce belief in mankind's potential for good over evil. In showing a better way forward, shaping the lives of his characters with tolerance and understanding, Kemal's fiction occupies a moral plane far higher than that of human conflict and base revenge" Observer "He is the architect of unforgettable literary heroes and a beacon for writers of the generations that followed him" -- Elif Shafak "The second part of the stirring Memed chronicle, by the man acknowledged to be Turkey's greatest contemporary writer" Washington Post "Kemal's ability to delve into human nature and bring out the universal traits in his characters made his novels accessible to all sections of society" Independent

Yashar Kemal (1923 - 2015) was born on the cotton-growing plains of Chukurova, which feature in his The Wind from the Plain trilogy. His championship of poor peasants lost him a succession of jobs, but he was eventually able to buy a typewriter and set himself up as a public letter-writer in the small town of Kadirli. After a spell as a journalist, he published a volume of short stories in 1952, and then, in 1955, his first novel Memed, My Hawk won the Varlik Prize for best novel of the year. His work went on to win countless prizes from all over the world, and was translated into several languages. Kemal was a member of the Central Committee of the banned Workers' Party, and in 1971 he was held in prison for 26 days before being released without charge. Subsequently, he was placed on trial for action in support of Kurdish dissidents. Among the many international prizes and honours he received in recognition of his gifts as a writer and his courageous fight for human rights, are the French Legion d'Honneur and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, as well as being nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kemal was Turkey's most influential living writer and, in the words of John Berger, "one of the modern world's great storytellers".

General Fields

  • : 9781784870478
  • : Vintage Publishing
  • : Vintage Classics
  • : 0.368
  • : December 2016
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Yasar Kemal
  • : 416
  • : 416
  • : Paperback
  • : Paperback
  • : 1702
  • : 1702
  • : 894.3533
  • : 894.3533