From the internationally bestselling author of Serenade for Nadia, a powerful story of love and faith amidst the atrocities committed by ISIS against the Yazidi people.
Disquiet transports the reader to the contemporary Middle East through the stories of Meleknaz, a Yazidi Syrian refugee, and Hussein, a young man from the Turkish city of Mardin near the Syrian border. Passionate about helping others, Hussein begins visiting a refugee camp to tend to the thousands of poor and sick streaming into Turkey, fleeing ISIS. There, he falls in love with Meleknaz—whom his disapproving family will call “the devil” who seduced him—and their relationship sets further tragedy in motion.
A nuanced meditation on the nature of being human and an empathetic, probing look at the past and present of these Mesopotamian lands, Disquiet gives voice to the peoples, faiths, histories, and stories that have swept through this region over centuries.
Livaneli (Serenade for Nadia) delivers a keenly wrought story of the oppressive violence the Ezidi, aka Yazidi, people face at the hands of ISIS. The story is told by a young Turkish journalist named Ibrahim working in Istanbul, whose frantic narration is interlaced with monologues from his contacts who share their life stories. When Ibrahim gets news that his childhood friend, Hussein, has been killed in Germany, he travels to their hometown of Mardin, where Hussein had spent time before leaving for Europe, to investigate. While there, he learns Hussein dedicated his life to volunteering at the local refugee camp for those from Syria fleeing ISIS (his last words were "I was a human being"). Hussein's distraught family tells Ibrahim of a "she-devil" Ezidi woman, Meleknaz, whom Hussein had fallen in love with and who they believe was involved in his death. Ever the journalist, Ibrahim sets out to learn the truth about the Ezidi people (who are widely seen by outsiders as being Satan worshippers) and who Meleknaz really is and where she's gone. Though the translation often feels prosaic, the story's urgency comes through in its tight grasp on the problems of religious violence, misogyny, and the failures of compassion. The result is a memorable illumination of the Ezidi people's rich history.