Bay Ridge Book Club Meetup

Not Even My Name, a true story by Thea Halo

A rare eyewitness account of the horrors of a little-known, often denied genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Armenian and Pontic Greek minorities in Turkey were killed during and after World War I. As told by Sano Halo to her daughter, Thea, this is the story of her survival of the death march at age ten that annihilated her family, and the mother-daughter pilgrimage to Turkey in search of Sano's home seventy years after her exile. Sano, a Pontic Greek from a small village near the Black Sea, also recounts the end of her ancient, pastoral way of life in the Pontic Mountains.

In the spring of 1920, Turkish soldiers arrived in the village and shouted the proclamation issued by General Kemal Attatürk: "You are to leave this place. You are to take with you only what you can carry . . . " After surviving the march, Sano was sold into marriage at age fifteen to a man three times her age who brought her to America. 

Not Even My Name follows Sano's marriage, the raising of her ten children, and her transformation from an innocent girl who lived an ancient way of life in a remote place to a woman in twentieth-century New York City.

Although Turkey actively suppresses the truth about the murder of almost three million of its Christian minorities--Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian--during and after World War I, and the exile of millions of others, here is a first-hand account of the horrors of that genocide.

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  • Susan R.

    Universal theme, it seems everyone can relate somehow to the plight of the persecuted. The evening is as rich and enjoyable because the contributors make it so. Thank you everyone for this discussion.

    1 · October 15, 2013

  • soleil

    Thank you for this nice encounter. I enjoyed your kindness as well as your shared insightful stimulating thoughts.

    1 · October 14, 2013

    • Susan R.

      It's a pleasure to have you in the club, Cecile. Thanks for your efforts to show up.

      October 14, 2013

  • Susan R.

    As I'm re-reading this book in preparation for our discussion next week, I'm reminded why I was so enthralled with it the first time around. It's not hard to fathom the ugly truth of it, yet it's a beautiful story written beautifully. How inspiring when the human spirit triumphs over adversity. This is a wonderful book.

    September 29, 2013

  • Janice D.

    Right now I don't think I'll be able to attend because I'll be leaving for Spain that week. (Much to do!) But if I can get the book and make the time to read it, I might change my RSVP.

    September 11, 2013

    • Susan R.

      Janice, it was an impressionable book. You would love it. I know your style. So If you don't make it, I hope you get a chance to read it some day. Have a good trip. Need a translator? Ha, ha...

      September 11, 2013

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