“The only useful sentence from a useless book I read a long time ago was this: the first tool man used was another man.”
The novel More by Turkish writer Hakan Günday (1976) was one of the most noticed novels published in Turkey in 2015, and it also achieved great success in Europe where it won the Medicis award for the best foreign novel translated to French. Part of the reason for this is the fact that this is one of the first novels that directly deals with current social-political events in present day Europe, Middle East and Asia, more specifically with the immigrant crisis.
Told from the perspective of a Turkish teenage boy Gaza, who undergoes somewhat of a psychological, character and moral transformation while growing up with his harsh single father Ahad, a ruthless people smuggler, the novel depicts a never before seen harsh and scary truth about human trafficking and illegal transport of immigrants through Turkey. It is about people who left their homes and families, all of their hopes and dreams because of wars in order to find a haven in the West while also putting their fate in the hands of unscrupulous and greedy smugglers.
The steep price paid to smugglers still does not guarantee survival and arriving to their destination or that their sacrifice will not be in vain. But what about the price that Gaza will have to pay for all this hell?
Author: Hakan Günday
Translator: Petra Hrebac