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Life's Good, Brother

Life's Good, Brother Nazim Hikmet, Translated from the Turkish by Mutlu Konuk Blasing

A contemporary international classic, published in English for the first time.

This final book written by the great Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet tests the borders between fiction and memoir. Set in 1925, in Izmir, Turkey, its protagonist-narrator, Ahmet, a Communist Party member who shares many biographical details with Hikmet himself, is hiding out in a stone cottage. He is being pursued by the secret police as he tries to set up an underground printing press. Using a cinematic technique, Hikmet experiments with the fluidity of time and memory, flashing back to his/Ahmet’s earlier years in Turkey and Russia and forward to the years and experiences to come. He creates shots of his/Ahmet’s life from multiple angles: as a university student in Moscow in his early twenties, infatuated with a Russian girl and caught up in the euphoria of revolutionary Communism; as a self-styled revolutionary in Turkey, spending years in and out of prisons; and as a sixty-year-old exile in a very different Moscow, taking stock of a life committed to utopian ideals. Life’s Good, Brother captures everyday exigencies as well as the passionate undercurrents of Hikmet’s tumultuous life.

Praise for the Book:
Life’s Good, Brother is one of the first and most important ‘European’ novels written in Turkey: its horizons are not limited to the national issues of Turkey, it explores the basic values of life, and its heroes live cosmopolitan lives.” —Orhan Pamuk

About the Author:
Nazim Hikmet was born in Salonika in 1902 at the end of the Ottoman Empire, and died in exile in 1963, after the formation of the Turkish Republic. He was imprisoned, and his writings were banned for decades in Turkey. Now he is a national hero and recognized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets. Life’s Good, Brother was published posthumously in 1964, and has been translated into more than fifteen languages.

Also available from Persea by and about Nazim Hikmet:
Poems of Nazim Hikmet
Human Landscapes from My Country: An Epic Novel in Verse
Nazim Hikmet: The Life and Times of Turkey's Modern Poet

Forthcoming, June 2013 / Trade paperback / $17.95 (Can. $19.00) / ISBN 978-089255-418-8 / Fiction in Translation

 

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