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Book Notice

Atilla Bektore, A Nomad's Journey: A Memoir
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., March 2007
Paperback, $33.95; ISBN: 0-595-38524-9

A Nomadís Journey is a memoir written by Atilla Bektore that tells the story of his life in Central Asia, Turkey and the United States. The author is the son of Shevki Bektore (1888-1961), a Crimean Tatar nationalist, educator and poet, who spent over two decades in Soviet labor camps. The younger Bektore places the family's experiences in a political and social context, and the hefty book of nearly 600 pages depicts the story of a Crimean Tatar family in diaspora, trying to survive in the former Soviet Union and later in Turkey. It makes an engaging reading. Atilla Bektore was born in Crimea and currently lives in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Shevki Bektore is well known among the Crimean Tatar circles, primarily for the nostalgic poems he wrote about Crimea. Many may also be familiar with his memoir Volga Kizil Akarken (While the Volga Flowed Red), written in Turkish and published in Ankara in 1965. A Nomad's Journey includes a long chapter, "Father Tells His Story," which is an English translation by Atilla of his father's memoir, the part that relates to his life in the Gulag after his family left for Turkey in 1937. We are grateful to Atilla for making his father's story available to a wider audience in readable English and extend our congratulations to him for completing his memoirs, a work in the making for some years.

Inci Bowman

(See also: Atilla Bektore's online article, Shevki Bektore, March 2005, at this Web site.

Publisher's Description:

A gripping true tale of life in Russia, Turkey, and the United States, A Nomadís Journey shares the incredible story of Atilla Bektore and his father, Shevki Bektore.

Born in Dobruja, Rumania, in 1888, Shevki Bektore dreams of being a teacher in his ancestral land of the Crimea. When the horrifying events of World War I alter his plans, he joins countless millions of others whose hopes and dreams are shattered in the maelstrom of war and revolution. Arrested in 1932 on trumped-up charges of treason, Shevki spends over twenty-two years of his life as an inmate in Stalinís Gulags in Central Asia and Siberia.

Told within the context of contemporary world events, A Nomadís Journey focuses on major milestones of world history that include World War I and the fall of world empires, the birth of Bolshevik Russia, World War II, the demise of the Soviet Union, and the rise of the United States as the sole world superpower.

Shevkiís compelling story of survival, combined with his sonís endurance in the face of World War II, Stalinís iron rule, and the turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s, creates a stunning memoir of these two extraordinary men.


Posted: 12 April 2007

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