Orhan Kemal

ORHAN KEMAL (1914-1970) was a Turkish novelist best remembered for his depictions of poverty and ordinary Turkish life. He was born in Adana. His father worked in law and was active in politics. Kemal dabbled in menial jobs before military service. His imprisonment due to his outspoken political views proved a turning point and from 1951 he made his living entirely by writing — often with radical, anti-authoritarian content. An institution in his homeland (though barely tolerated by successive governments), Kemal’s untimely death in 1970 was an occasion for national mourning.

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