by O. Z. Livaneli
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Bliss by O. Z. Livaneli

Meryem, a fifteen-year-old girl, lives in a rural village on the shores of Lake Van in Eastern Turkey. Her simple life changes dramatically after her uncle, a sheikh in a dervish order, rapes her. She is considered an outcast for shaming her family. When she is locked in a shed and left alone for days, she comes to the painful realization that her family expects her to hang herself with a length of rope left on the dirt floor. But she is defiant.

As tradition still has it, a judgment must be made in the name of honor. She is told she is to be taken to Istanbul, a shining city she envisions being just over the nearest mountain. Many girls from her village have "gone to Istanbul," and she assumes it must be a wonderful place since not one has returned. In fact, those girls have been the victims of "honor-killings."

Cemal, Meryem's cousin, a commando in the army, has been fighting in the mountains against the rebels. On his return home, he is welcomed as a hero though he has been severely traumatized by his war experiences. His father, who had violated Meryem, charges Cemal with the task of executing his cousin's punishment. As he and Mereym begin their journey, they proceed through the marketplace where the townspeople have gathered, some weeping and others mocking her.

In Istanbul, a Harvard-educated professor named Irfan lives an elite existence. He has published many books, hosts a radio show, and seems to enjoy success and jet-set freedom. He revolts against the routine of his soulless life, deciding to leave his wealthy wife and Istanbul. He charters a boat to sail the Aegean . By coincidence, his path crosses with that of Meryem and Cemal. They embark on a journey togetherthat fills their hearts with hope and sets them free.

Already an international bestseller, this lyrical and moving tale juxtaposes the traditional and modern and draws attention to human rights violations against women in the Middle East.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786292233
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 01/09/2007
Series: Thorndike Reviewers' Choice Ser.
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 519
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

O. Z. Livaneli, one of Turkey's most prominent authors, is also an accomplished composer, and previously served as an elected member of the Turkish Parliament.


Istanbul, Turkey

Date of Birth:

June 20, 1946

Place of Birth:

Ilgýn, Konya, Turkey


B.A. in Music, 1974

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Bliss 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zulfu Livaneli did a wonderful job with this novel. With his three main characters, Meryem, Camel and Dr. Irfan Kurudal he allows the reader to acquire an accurate perception of how different life can be in modern Turkey. Bliss in the American title. It is entitled 'Mutluluk' in most other countries. There is also movie that just came out, but it is in Turkish. Bliss is Middle Eastern Fiction that portrays real controversies 'such as honor killings' in a made-up story. This novel was named Book of the Month in Italy of March 2007. Bliss opens the world's eyes to important problems in Turkey today: women's rights and religion. I am interested in hearing what other authors will have to say about 'Bliis' in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book in the original language it has written, over and over. It touched my heart and my soul each time. The characters defined so wonderfully that they almost exist, you can see them. You live them. You feel them. It is not possible to put it down. A book you will not forget, ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book very boring. It goes on and on and never really gets to any conclusion. I am not sure what the point was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one sitting. I would recommend this to anyone. It's like having a curtain drawn back for a time, so you can watch a world that you hear about but somehow can never really imagine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the story of a little girl raped by her uncle and doomed to death by her tribe. I read the book from the first page to the last with great excitement and I got into the story since the moment I saw her name. She was Meryem whose name symbolizes 'purity' and 'innosence'. Meryem also symbolizes two sides of the country: one side is a country where some people endeavour to create a peaceful atmosphere to live and the other side is a country where a group of people exist with their savage souls. Meryem is in between those people throughout the story. What's more, the novel is worth reading even just because of its character analyses: Meryem, Cemal and Ýrfan. You will find an aspect of yours in all those portraits. In brief, the story is fascinating, the pen is fascinating, the character is fascinating. Get a move on to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's the story of a young girl condemned to death by her family in the name of honour. In the background, you'll find a most realistic picture of modern Turkey with all its contradictions. For those who are interested in discovering the multiple facets of this interesting country.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book about the search for happiness. His three heroes, each of them an unforgettable character, change themselves and each other in the course of a trip through the Aegean. I would strongly recommend to everyone. It's well constructed and moves with a breathtaking pace. Livaneli is a very powerful narrator.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading this book opened my eyes to the reality of the horrors of honor crimes widely spread in the eastern world. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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puzzled66 More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I am going to Turkey and wanted a flavor of the country. This book was recommended by someone on a TripAdvisor chat group. I found it disturbing if a true indication of Turkey today - that such treatment of women can still exist. The fact that this is written by a Turk and the reviews by a very prominent Turk writer makes me believe it is true. It is an engaging story but at times I felt if the author was trying to make a political statements about Turkey and the world today and the very different cultures existing in the world today. It is an easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Picked this book up off a sale table because I thought it sounded interesting, and enjoy trying new authors. Was totally and very pleasantly surprised by this book. It was very interesting all the way through. Made you see the life of the Turkish people as some of them lived it. Intriguing in parts and I truly enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful book about a teenage girl trying to keep her identity and dignity in the harsh world of Islamic fundementalism. A story of survival, love and hope.