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Fifteen-year-old Meryem lives in a rural village in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Her simple, conventional way of life changes dramatically after her uncle, a sheikh in a dervish order, rapes her-and condemns her to death for shaming the family. Asked to carry out the "honor killing" is his son Cemal, a commando in the Turkish army. So begins a long, mystifying voyage for Meryem as her shell-shocked cousin ushers her to the shining metropolis of Istanbul where another troubled soul, the Harvard-educated professor Irfan, embarks on his own journey of transformation-one that catapults him into the heart of Meryem and Cemal's conflict. The crossed-paths and interwoven destinies of these three characters makes for an affecting, by turns brutal and life-affirming portrayal of traditional and modern-day Turkey that no reader will soon forget.
"Livaneli is an essential force in Turkey's musical, cultural, and political scene."
--Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize Winner and author of Snow
"Bliss is eye-opening and deeply moving."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Compelling [for] American readers ...hard to put down."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"With lush scenes of Turkish life and nuanced depictions of the [characters'] inner lives. . .a convergence of lost, likable souls."