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The Lost Word

by Oya Baydar

I somehow knew nothing of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict prior to reading this novel, so this was an interesting introduction to the complicated political situation. Yet as well discussing the disturbing nature of the war, the book also manages to be at times a love story, and a thriller, and a tale about running away and coming back home. Unusual, and a strangely compelling read.

Extract

These people offer their lives, and their faith is as hard as a rock. They don't retreat, run or surrender even if they know they will be killed. Death is a part of the saga. It is not the end, it is merely the prologue for becoming the hero of legends. They are so young, so far removed from death and have so little to cling to in life that they are afraid of pain, but they are not afraid of death. That is the reason why the conflict has lasted so long.

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