Memed, My Hawk
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|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 Varlık 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.
Memed, a young boy from a village in Anatolia, is abused and beaten by the villainous local landowner, Abdi Agha. Having endured great cruelty towards himself and his mother, Memed 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. There he joins a band of brigands and exacts revenge against his old adversary. Hatche was then imprisoned and later dies. When Memed returns to the town, Hatche's mother tells him he has a "women's heart" if he surrenders himself. He instead rides into town to find his enemy, on a horse given to him by the townspeople. 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. Before Hatche dies she gives birth to Memed's son, who is also named Memed. The protagonist then must take care of his son.
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