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An extract from Cemo


is the story of a Kurdish girl, narrated first by her father and then by her husband. The story takes place in eastern Turkey during the 1920s at the time of Sheh Said rebellion when reactonary forces keen to preserve the feudal system rebelled against Kemal Pasha (Ataturk).

The narrative style of the novel remains faithful to the oral tradition of the Turkish folk epic, It is written in the spoken language of eastern Turkey, in Kurdish dialect, it is rich with metaphors, idioms, local expressions and allusions clear only to the Turkish reader, which makes its translation into English very difficult, A literal translation very often makes it unintelligible to the foreign reader while adaptation using English equivalents runs the risk of devoiding the work of its oriental flavor, We chose to render local dialects into simple English rather than a direct translation.

The proposed excerpt is the beginning of the book and presents Cemo by her father Cano.

This translation was produced by Esin B. Rey with Mariana Fitzpatrick

Click on  the title of the book to read it

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