Not Even My Name: From a Death March in Turkey to a New Home in America, a Young Girl's True Story of Genocide and Survival

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9780312262112: Not Even My Name: From a Death March in Turkey to a New Home in America, a Young Girl's True Story of Genocide and Survival

A riveting account of exile from Turkish genocide, brought to light for the first time ever in Sano Halo's personal story

Not Even My Name exposes the genocide carried out during and after WW I in Turkey, which brought to a tragic end the 3000-year history of the Pontic Greeks (named for the Pontic Mountain range below the Black Sea). During this time, almost 2 million Pontic Greeks and Armenians were slaughtered and millions of others were exiled.

Not Even My Name is the unforgettable story of Sano Halo's survival, as told to her daughter, Thea, and of their trip to Turkey in search of Sano's home 70 years after her exile. Sano Halo was a 10-year-old girl when she was torn from her ancient, pastoral way of life in the mountains and sent on a death march that annihilated her family. Stripped of everything she had ever held dear, even her name, Sano was sold by her surrogate family into marriage when still a child to a man three times her age.

Not Even My Name follows Sano's marriage, the raising of her ten children in New York City, and her transformation as an innocent girl who was forced to move from a bucolic life to the 20th century in one bold stride. Written in haunting and eloquent prose, Not Even My Name weaves a seamless texture of individual and group memory, evoking all the suspense and drama of the best told tales.

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From the Inside Flap:

Not Even My Name is the unforgettable story of Sano Halo's survival of the death march at age 10 that annihilated her family-as told to her daughter, Thea-and the poignant mother-daughter pilgrimage to Turkey in search of Sano's home seventy years after her exile. Sano, a Pontic Greek from a small village near the Black Sea, also recounts the end of her ancient, pastoral way of life in the Pontic Mountains.

The dreadful realization that something was amiss came little by little to Sano's village. Strangers began to inhabit the fields and forests, always watching from a distance like birds of prey. Turkish soldiers made periodic raids to seize men for slave labor in foul, lice-infested camps, where most died of disease, malnutrition, and exposure. Then in the spring of 1920, Turkish soldiers pounded on doors with the butts of their rifles and shouted the proclamation issued by General Kemal (Ataturk): "You are to leave this place. You are to take with you only what you can carry..." On their death march, victims lay where they fell and buzzards hung over their heads. So ended the three-thousand-year history of the Pontic Greeks in Turkey.

Stripped of everything she had ever held dear, even her name, at age fifteen Sano was sold into marriage to a man who brought her to America. He was three times her age. Not Even My Name follows Sano's marriage, the raising of her ten children, and her transformation from an innocent girl who lived an ancient way of life in a remote place to a nurturing mother and determined woman in twentieth-century New York City.

Although Turkey actively suppresses the truth about the slaughter of almost 3 million of its Christian minorities-Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian-during and after World War I, and the exile of millions of others, here is a rare, first-hand account of the horrors of that genocide. But Sano's story is also one of triumph. A brilliant and mesmerizing memoir written in haunting and eloquent prose. Not Even My Name weaves a seamless texture of individual memory that evokes all the suspense and drama of the best-told tales.

About the Author:

Thea Halo resides in New York City, as does her mother, Sano, who is now in her eighties.

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