Iron Earth, Copper Sky

Iron Earth, Copper Sky


The second volume in the acclaimed The Wind from the Plain trilogy

Turkey’s greatest novelist, Yashar Kemal was an unsurpassed storyteller who brought to life a world of staggering violence and hallucinatory beauty. Kemal’s books delve deeply into the entrenched social and historical conflicts that scar the Middle East. The Wind from the Plains trilogy is widely seen as his masterpiece, alongside the legendary Memed My Hawk.

After a particularly bad season, a group of poor cotton-pickers are unable to pay their creditor, shopkeeper Adil Effendi. Overwhelmed with shame and guilt, they wait in terror for Adil to come and demand retribution. But when he inexplicably fails to appear, Adil begins to represent an irrational and tyrannical force, growing in their minds until they become sick with apprehension and obsessed with the terrible disaster that is sure to come upon them.

In their despair they turn to Tashbash, a brave, decent and loyal man, investing him with virtue, grace and miraculous power. But the cotton-pickers have no idea of the effect of their idolatry on Tashbash, with his innocent doubts and mental torment, until his fate finally befalls him and the novel draws to its apposite close. Written with deep compassion and lyrical beauty, this is a novel alive with the acute observation of human nature.

About the author

Yashar Kemal

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 highly distinguished literary career continued in this vein; his work won countless prizes from all over the world and has been 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, were the French Légion 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".
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