Memed, My Hawk
|Original title||İnce Memed|
Published in English
|Followed by||They Burn the Thistles|
Memed, My Hawk (Turkish: İnce Memed, meaning "Memed, the Slim) is a 1955 novel by Yaşar Kemal. It was Kemal's debut novel and is the first novel in his İnce Memed tetralogy. The novel won the Varlik prize for that year (Turkey's highest literary prize) and earned Kemal a national reputation. In 1961, the book was translated into English by Edouard Roditi, thus gaining Kemal his first exposure to English-speaking readers.
İnce Memed is the best-known Turkish novel published since World War II.
Memed, a young boy from a village in Anatolia is abused and beaten by the villainous Abdi Agha, the local landowner. Having endured great cruelty towards himself and his mother, he finally escapes with his beloved, a girl named Hatche. Abdi Agha catches up with the young couple, but only manages to capture Hatche, while Memed is able to avoid his pursuers and runs into the mountains whereupon he joins a band of brigands and exacts revenge against his old adversary. Hatche was then imprisoned and later dies. Her mother, when Memed returns to the town, tells him he has a "women's heart" if he surrenders himself. He instead rides into town on a horse given to him by the towns people, to find his enemy. He finds Agha in the south-east corner of his house and shoots him in the breast. The local authorities hear the gunshots, but Memed gets away barely before they are able to take a few shots at him.
Yet before Hatche dies she gives birth to his son, who is also named Memed. Where he has to take care of his orphaned son.
In 1984, the novel was freely adapted by Peter Ustinov into a film (also known as The Lion and the Hawk).
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