From Publishers Weekly
In his latest novel, Farhi weaves together 13 short tales to tell a powerful story of Turkey just before, during, and after World War II. On the eve of war, people still believe in a Turkish culture that can accommodate any number of races and religions. But Hitler's march through Europe makes this an increasingly dicey proposition for the nation's Jews and the Turks who wish to stand by them. As Turkey begins to unravel, a cross-section of young Turks race toward adulthood in an increasingly polarized world, each in turn telling a piece of the country's beautiful and savage tapestry. In the luminous "Lentils in Paradise," two young boys find honest delight in the pleasures of the body, but soon discover that they can't be children forever after what they discover in the women's bathhouse. In "A Tale of Two Cities," a group of foolhardy teens embark on a plan to save their friend's relatives from persecution in Greece. The story is imbued with the tragedy of a doomed mission. Its honesty captures the ephemeral, sensual and often brutal process of becoming an adult as the book's haunting tone walks the line between a novel of ideas and an extended coming of age story.
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'Moris Farhi shames the willed littleness of British fiction with this novel. In Farhi's writing there is a distinctive collision of traditions which results in something funny, political and unique.' David Hare
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