Raped by her uncle, a sheikh in a dervish order, teenage Meryem becomes an outcast for shaming her family, until her commando cousin Cemal is chosen to execute his defiant cousin and instead takes her to Istanbul.
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Fifteen-year-old Meryem lives in a rural village in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Her simple, conventional way of life changes dramatically after her uncle, a sheikh in a dervish order, rapes her―and condemns her to death for shaming the family. Asked to carry out the "honor killing" is his son Cemal, a commando in the Turkish army. So begins a long, mystifying voyage for Meryem as her shell-shocked cousin ushers her to the shining metropolis of Istanbul where another troubled soul, the Harvard-educated professor Irfan, embarks on his own journey of transformation―one that catapults him into the heart of Meryem and Cemal's conflict. The crossed-paths and interwoven destinies of these three characters makes for an affecting, by turns brutal and life-affirming portrayal of traditional and modern-day Turkey that no reader will soon forget.
"Livaneli is an essential force in Turkey's musical, cultural, and political scene."
--Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize Winner and author of Snow
"Bliss is eye-opening and deeply moving."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Compelling [for] American readers ...hard to put down."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"With lush scenes of Turkish life and nuanced depictions of the [characters'] inner lives. . .a convergence of lost, likable souls."
O. Z. Livaneli, one of Turkey's most prominent authors, is also an accomplished composer, and previously served as an elected member of the Turkish Parliament. For more information about his background and books, visit his website at www.livaneli.net.
O. Z. Livaneli was held under military detention during the coup of March 12, 1971, and lived in exile for eight years. He studied music in Stockholm then lived in Paris and Athens, returning toTurkey in 1984. Having achieved prominence as a writer and composer, he was elected a member of Parliament in 2002.
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