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Kemal, Yasar

Country/Region:
Turkey
Born:
October 19, 1923
Dead:
February 28, 2015
Genres:
Miscellaneous prose, Children's literature
Portrait of Yasar Kemal Photo: Leif R Jansson / TT (2010)
The Turkish novelist and short story writer Yasar Kemal was born as Kemal Sadik Gökceli in the village of Hemite near Adana in southern Anatolia in 1922 or 1923 - there is no documentation that can confirm his date of birth. His family was the only Kurdish family in the village, so he grew up speaking Turkish, he writes only in Turkish and he has contributed greatly to the development of the Turkish language. When he was five years old he witnessed his father's murder and he lost the use of one of his eyes. Following this double trauma, he suffered for a long time from a severe stutter. When his sisters later died he was left to provide for his mother, and after a period of very limited schooling he began to work as a farmhand, cotton picker, clerk and temp teacher.

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