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The Silence of Scheherazade

Defne Suman

Published by Head of Zeus

£18.99 / $25.34 / €22.38
($/€ approx)



Hardback, 512 pages, published August 2021

‘This rich tale of love and loss gives voice to the silenced, and adds music to their histories’
Maureen Freely, Chair, English PEN
Book Description

At the heart of the Ottoman Empire, in the ancient city of Smyrna, a devastating moment determines the fates of four families.

On an orange-tinted evening in September 1905, Scheherazade is born to an opium-dazed mother in the ancient city of Smyrna. At the very same moment, a dashing Indian spy arrives in the harbour with a secret mission from the British Empire. He sails in to golden-hued spires and minarets, scents of fig and sycamore, and the cries of street hawkers selling their wares. When he leaves, seventeen years later, it will be to the heavy smell of kerosene and smoke as the city, and its people, are engulfed in flames.

But let us not rush, for much will happen between then and now. Birth, death, romance and grief are all to come as these peaceful, cosmopolitan streets are used as bargaining chips in the wake of the First World War.

Told through the intertwining fates of a Levantine, a Greek, a Turkish and an Armenian family, this unforgettable novel reveals a city, and a culture, now lost to time.

Reviews for The Silence of Scheherazade

‘Defne Suman is a story-teller. She tells the story of how love, emotions and identities are influenced by socio-political events of a lifetime’ Cumhuriyet Newspaper

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