From the book jacket:
de Bernières (author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin) gives us his long-awaited new novel. Huge, resonant, lyrical, filled with humor and pathos, a novel about the political and personal costs of war, and of lovebetween men and women, between friends
and between those who are driven to be enemies. It is the story of a small coastal town in South West Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire told in the richly varied voices of the people Christians and Muslims of Turkish and Greek and Armenian descent whose lives are rooted there, intertwined for untold years.
When I first recommended Birds Without Wings
in August 2004
(in hardcover) I wrote....
Beyond the Book
Background: The Ottoman Empire ruled large tracts
of central Europe for about 450 years, until it was defeated by the Turkish
nationalists in 1918. The Turks were led by Mustafa Kemal, whose
story forms just one of the many threads in this tapestry of a book.
Although I obviously cannot endorse either, I found these sites provided useful
background reading about the Ottoman Empire and Mustafa Kemal.
The excerpt, chosen by the publisher, is from
Chapter 27. It's well chosen because it reads much like a short story
in its own right; and doesn't give away any key plot details that would
spoil your enjoyment of the book before this point.