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Ούτε το όνομά μου

Γενοκτονία και επιβίωση: Μια αληθινή ιστορία του Πόντου"Η οικογένειά μας ήταν: η μητέρα μου, ο πατέρας μου, οι πέντε αδελφές και τα τέσσερα αδέλφια μου, ένας θείος, μια θεία Αρμένισσα -μάλλον και αυτή κουβαλούσε τη δική της ιστορία- και η κόρη τους που παντρεύτηκε και μετακόμισε μακριά πολύ μικρή. Μετά από εμάς τίποτα.Ζούσαμε στην Νέα Υόρκη, στην Ουέστ Εκατοστή Δεύτερη ΟδόΓενοκτονία και επιβίωση: Μια αληθινή ιστορία του Πόντου"Η οικογένειά μας ήταν: η μητέρα μου, ο πατέρας μου, οι πέντε αδελφές και τα τέσσερα αδέλφια μου, ένας θείος, μια θεία Αρμένισσα -μάλλον και αυτή κουβαλούσε τη δική της ιστορία- και η κόρη τους που παντρεύτηκε και μετακόμισε μακριά πολύ μικρή. Μετά από εμάς τίποτα.Ζούσαμε στην Νέα Υόρκη, στην Ουέστ Εκατοστή Δεύτερη Οδό, αλλά τότε ήταν πολύ διαφορετικά από ό,τι είναι σήμερα. Στη δεκαετία του '40 και του '50, ο δρόμος έμοιαζε με σκηνικό από το Ουέστ Σάιντ Στόρι. Εμείς ζούσαμε σε ένα διαμέρισμα πέντε δωματίων που ήταν χτισμένα σαν τα βαγόνια ενός τρένου - κάθε δωμάτιο επικοινωνούσε με το επόμενο.Μεγαλώσαμε ανάμεσα σε Ιρλανδούς κυρίως, αν και υπήρχαν και άλλες φυλές και εθνικότητες στις γύρω γειτονιές και στα σχολεία μας. Η καταγωγή μας, όμως, ήταν ένα μυστήριο για εμάς τα παιδιά. Είχαμε έρθει από δύο χαμένους πολιτισμούς. Και οι δύο γονείς μου ήταν από την Τουρκία και οι λαοί τους είχαν ζήσει εκεί για χιλιάδες χρόνια, αλλά δεν ήταν Τούρκοι. Κανένας δε γνώριζε, ούτε καν είχε ακούσει για το λαό της μητέρας μου -τους Έλληνες Πόντιους της Μικράς Ασίας. Όσο για το λαό του πατέρα μου, τους Ασσύριους, γι' αυτούς πίστευαν ότι είχαν ζήσει μόνο στους αρχαίους χρόνους και δεν υπήρχαν πια. Ως παιδί, δεν ανέφερα ποτέ την καταγωγή της μητέρας μου, ενώ τις λίγες φορές που επιχείρησα να απαντήσω στις ερωτήσεις για την καταγωγή του πατέρα μου, με διόρθωναν με μεγάλη επισημότητα.«Όχι, γλυκιά μου. Εννοείς ότι είσαι Σύρια. Οι Ασσύριοι είναι αρχαίος λαός. Δεν υπάρχουν πια». Ακόμα και οι δάσκαλοί μου αυτό μου έλεγαν". Η Thea Halo αφηγείται την αλησμόνητη ιστορία της μητέρας της, Σάνο. Στην ηλικία των 10 μόλις ετών η Σάνο επιβίωσε από την πορεία θανάτου που αφάνισε την οικογένειά της. Εβδομήντα χρόνια μετά τον εκπατρισμό της η Σάνο και η κόρη της Thea επιστρέφουν στην Τουρκία σε μια προσπάθεια αναζήτησης του χωριού και του πατρικού της. Στο βιβλίο, η Σάνο, μια ελληνίδα Πόντια που γεννήθηκε σε ένα μικρό χωριό κοντά στη Μαύρη Θάλασσα, αναπολεί την παραδοσιακή αγροτική ζωή της στα βουνά του Πόντου. Πόντος 1919. Η φοβερή συνειδητοποίηση ότι κάτι δεν πήγαινε καλά έφτασε σιγά -σιγά στο χωριό της Σάνο. Άγνωστοι άρχισαν να περιφέρονται και να διανυκτερεύουν στα χωράφια και στα δάση της περιοχής. Παραμόνευαν από απόσταση σαν αρπακτικά. Τούρκοι στρατιώτες έκαναν επιδρομές και οδηγούσαν τους άντρες στα άθλια στρατόπεδα εργασίας. Οι περισσότεροι πέθαιναν από τις κακουχίες και την πείνα. Αργότερα, την άνοιξη του 1920, οι Τούρκοι στρατιώτες ξαναγύρισαν και διέταξαν τους κατοίκους να υπακούσουν τις εντολές του Στρατηγού Κεμάλ Ατατούρκ: «Πρέπει να φύγετε απ' αυτόν τον τόπο. Μαζί σας θα πάρετε ό,τι μπορείτε να σηκώσετε...». Στις πορείες θανάτου που ακολούθησαν, τα θύματα πέθαιναν εκεί όπου έπεφταν, με τα αρπακτικά να παραμονεύουν. Έτσι έφτασε στο τέλος της η τρισχιλιόχρονη ιστορία του ποντιακού ελληνισμού στην Τουρκία. Έχοντας χάσει ό,τι αγαπούσε στη ζωή της, ακόμη και το όνομά της, η Σάνο δόθηκε με προξενιό σ' έναν άντρα που την πήρε μαζί του στην Αμερική στην ηλικία των 15 ετών. Ο άντρας της είχε τα τριπλάσια χρόνια της. Η αφήγηση παρακολουθεί την πορεία του γάμου της, την ανατροφή των 10 παιδιών της και τη μεταμόρφωσή της από μια αθώα παιδούλα, που ζούσε μια παραδοσιακή ζωή σε έναν απομακρυσμένο τόπο, σε μια στοργική μητέρα και αποφασιστική γυναίκα στη Νέα Υόρκη του 20ού αιώνα. Η Τουρκία αποσιωπά συνειδητά τις σφαγές σχεδόν 3.000.000 ανθρώπων που ανήκαν στις χριστιανικές μειονότητες των Ελλήνων, Αρμενίων και Ασσυρίων, καθώς και τους μαζικούς εκτοπισμούς εκατομμυρίων άλλων. Το βιβλίο αυτό είναι μια σπάνια προσωπική μαρτυρία των τρομερών συμβάντων εκείνης της γενοκτονίας. Η αφήγηση αποτελεί μια αυθεντική κατάθεση ψυχής, γραμμένη αριστουργηματικά, ενώ η πλοκή εξελίσσεται μέσα από τις προσωπικές αναμνήσεις και τις αγωνίες ενός δράματος....

Title : Ούτε το όνομά μου
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789602708668
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 491 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ούτε το όνομά μου Reviews

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-20 13:32

    If only one could make time stand still; if one could erase all the horror and inhumanity in the world.-Thea HaloEvery year in December (for the past three years), I've tried to do two things: read a conscious work of narrative nonfiction and a D.H. Lawrence novel. Since I usually end the year with Lawrence and my blind commitment to his shenanigans, I decided to tackle this nonfiction read first. This is my eighteenth nonfiction read of the year and the fifth book I've read that encapsulates the estrangement an exile feels:I never stopped thinking of our home and land and the way we lived there. I pictured every detail in my mind over and over all these years so I wouldn't forget; so I could keep them alive in my heart. I can close my eyes now and see our beautiful landscape.If you've never heard of the Pontic Greeks, this is because they were erased from their homes in Turkey, their villages were destroyed, along with their ancient Greek language. The same happened to the Assyrians and Armenians. The Greek names for towns and villages were changed after World War I, during the era of Mustafa Kemal. Constantinople, once known as Byzantium, became what we now know to be Istanbul. "1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered, 750,000 Assyrians, and 353,000 Pontic Greeks, and the cruel death marches to exile of 1.5 million more Greeks of Turkey…between 1915-1923." I first read of this exile death march while reading Mark Mustian's novel The Gendarme years ago, but there's no better distilling moment than that of an actual survivor's account.It was a strange dichotomy knowing of Turkey's atrocious history, and its intermittent rampages against the Kurds, and then visiting the land and finding a warm, receptive people. Where did that barbarism come from? How was it born? All the typical answers came to me of greed, territory and conquest, of fear and jealousy, but they were just words. As usual, it was difficult to reconcile the incredible brutality of c country's history with the seeming gentleness one finds in its people.Thea Halo's story is intertwined with her mother's, Themía, later known as Sano; although Thea calls her mother sweetheart, which is something unique but endearing to come across in the dialogue. To figure out her family's past, Thea asks her mother Themía about their family's forced death march out of Turkey, when Themía loses everything, even her name, as she watches the cruel disintegration of her family. Themía is later forced to live with and work for strangers. She is married before she is even a teenager, to a man about thirty years her senior, and she later has ten children. Yet it isn't until she is an old woman in her eighties, when she is finally able to return to her childhood home with her daughter, Thea. As you can imagine, much is changed at this time.This is a true story that is as much enlightening as it is harrowing. I have the first edition of this hardcover and in my used copy, a little boy lays on a black Labrador as he reads something on either a cellphone or some kind of gadget. The dog sleeps comfortably. I don't think I can get rid of the picture actually, because for all I know, the boy could be a part of this story and gauging from his features and the furniture in the background, he could be Thea Halo's kin. Okay so this is me in dream state speaking, but you get the gist, for this little memento from someone else's past reminds me of the interconnectedness that comes with physical books, and it also underscores the importance of this form of nonfictional account. Imagine what happens if survivors of brutality simply remained silent, and everyone else chooses to be ignorant of historical trends...

  • Chrissie
    2019-02-22 12:24

    NO SPOILERS!!!This book gets 5 stars. I don't care if at points the text seemed a little simplistic. I don't care at all. I don't give a hoot. The message is beautiful. What it teaches is beautiful, and I LOVE Sano the mother of the author. It is her that has done the teaching. This book is not just a book about Turkish ethnic cleansing. Yes, you get that too, but the prime message is how one should live a life. If you do not read this bok, you will never know about Sano. She is one of those individuals that don't make history books but have so much to impart to others. I give this book 5 stars b/c it introduced me to Sano. Pure and simple, that is why. She is has such wisdom, such generosity and such unconditional love. I have complained about some of the lines. Other lines I adore:(page 324): "Life is our reward. The rest is up to us."(page 311:): "The only other hotel in Aybasti we were told, was even more primitive than the one we were in, but we were grateful there was a hotel, and we had slept as well as we would have in a luxury suite. As my mother said, 'When your eyes are closed all rooms are the same.'"(page 268): "'How dare this woman tell my eight-year-old son he's too stupid to be a monitor? There is no such thing as a stupid child. They're only stupid teachers who don't know how to teach. Children are never stupid,' I said. 'And my son is not stupid. How dare you destroy his confidence?' And with that I broke down and cried......"(page 262): But because of the Depression, none of these jobs lasted.He even worked driving a trolley car for a while, but the hours were so long and the job so monotonous, that he fell asleep at the wheel and almost ran someone over, so he quit."I like the straightforward tone. This book is presented as if the mother is sitting in front of you telling you her story. YES, the book is often telling rather than showing - but I don't care. It works. You learn not only about the ethnic cleansing of Assyrians, Armenians and Pontic Greeks, but also about their traditions and culture. You learn about Sano's life. Her life was hard, not ONLY due to ethnic cleansing! But boy did she come out singing! :0) Oh, one more thing, other reviewers say they aren't interested in Sano's life in the US. You need this. You need to see her whole life. This is how you SEE she surmounted her difficulties. No, there is one MORE things. This author learned more about her identity and her heritage than the author of Passage To Ararat. Or maybe it is just that women and men see and express things a bit differently. Come on, that is true!Through page 233: The prose is very uneven. Very different in different sections. This is rather jostling, sometimes quite disturbing. Some parts are so terribly simplistic. Perhaps this is done on purpose to remind us that Sano is only 10. Well, now whe is 15. Here is another example from page 233:"Our first stop was Istanbul, but we only saw it from the port until the cargo was loaded. Then we were on our way again. On board I saw two young women crocheting little baskets with colored thread. I watched them from a short distance too shy to ask them how it was done."""I bet I could do that, I thought. It's the thing that has carried me through life, this feeling that I could do what I set out to do. I can tell just by looking at something if I could master it or not, and once that I determine that I can, there is no stopping me. A little gift from God perhaps, this resolve of my will."You know this is a child relating the narrative. Now if this is a child's book, will they be able to read the complicated dense history chapters? There is alot of educative material included- how houses are built, how bread is baked, holiday traditions, etc. You do learn much about life in Kurdish, Armenian and Pontic Greek communities. Through page 180: Here follows a quote from pages 179-180:"The evening sun streamed through the window and caught hold of the handle of the tub and turned it orange, then spilled down onto the clay floor at my feet. The light of the fire danced on the wall. Was it so long ago that I stood naked on a stool by the fire in front of my mother as she lathered a soft cloth and rubbed my body until I foamed in every crevice?"and from page 169:"I tried to cry, but I couldn't. Even when he wrapped his arms around me and I felt him sobbing, I still did not cry. I could only stand like a tiny post for him to cry on."The person speaking in both quotes is a ten year old child. There is no saying who is stronger, a child or an adult. I must point out that the text is very different in the historical chapters. It is dense, filled with dates and names and treaties. Through page 177: The book is riveting. The different narrative tones make sense now. Please see message two below, where I explain! Emotionally, this is a very tough read. Sano's experiences of the death march rip you apart and not just b/c of reasons for the death march by the leaders of Turkey, but b/c of the behavior one individual directs towards another. This has nothing to do with politics. This is how low a human being can be, how badly they can behave. I will simply say that one woman even ripped the name from the author's mother. Originally she was named Themia. She was renamed Sano by a Kudish woman. Who she was as an idividual was totally negated. Everything was taken from her - everything! The names were confusing me, now I understand. You see childish innoncence washed away. Through page 68: This book is a memoir about the ethnic cleansing that took place in Turkey after the First World War. I have read and reviewed Passage to Ararat, A Summer Without Dawn: An Armenian Epic, The Road From Home: A True Story of Courage, Survival and Hope and Skylark Farm. All of these concerned the Armenian Genocide. Each had a different angle. None of them have been perfect but having read all of them I now have a better understanding of what happened. I still need to read Armenian Golgotha. I have a hunch this one will be the best...... I wish I had started with it, but I shouldn't say until I have read it. I ordered it today! However it is important to note that in Turkey, particularly after WW1, the ethnic cleansing that occurred not only attempted to rid the country of Armenians but also Pontic Greeks and Assyrians. Greek Nationals were also moved out of Turkey. At this time, 1.5 million Armenians, 750 thousand Assyrians and 353 thousand Pontic Greeks were slaughtered. This book, Not Even My Name: A True Story, is about the author's mother, a Pontic Greek, who survived. This gives yet another perspective to what I have read previously. The author's mother was 10 when she lived through these horrors. The author returns to the Pontic Mountains with her mother to find again the small village where her mother grew up. Her mother had never really talked about her life experiences, but finally all unfolds when she returns to the village, at the age of 79 accompanied by her daughter. Her story is this book. It is very clear that the mother does not live with hate. How is that possible? The mother has a simple answer. Where she lived, in the three Greek villages in the Pontic Mountains of Turkey bordering the Black Sea, the Turks, living in the Turkish villages, were their friends! This is why she did not hate "the Turks". She blames the killings on Mustafa Kemal, Attatürk. There is where the blame belongs, him and of course those who helped him. The author has such a hard time reconciling the barbarism of the past with the kindness of the Turkish people they meet when the go back to the village in 1989. Sano, who survived, is a cheerful woman. When whe immigrated to the US and raised her family of 10 children, she had her memories but she kept them to herself. Locked up in side, hidden. She was happy. The author has such wonderful memories of her mother, busy, busy, busy, who wouldn't be with 10 kids, but she is so happy, and she always sings! This happiness shines through all the pages I have read. I very much appreciate this "way of looking at life", not letting yourself be dragged down in the mud. Reading a book about such horrible events is almost impossible if the book is written in a negative manner. One cannot but notice the wonderful relationship between the author, Thea, and her mother, Sano. I will be very honest here. It actually makes me feel guilty. They NEVER argue. They look at each other and they understand. I feel a bit like a terrible person when I read about how good and considerate they are to each other..... It makes me feel quite irritated with myself. It is just that when I don't agree about something I never manage to keep my mouth shut...... But is it good to not open your mouth and pretend you agree? That builds a relationship on false grounds. So far they just always seem to agree, and this sort of makes me jealous. There, I said what I am thinking. History of the Pontic Greeks is succinctly summarized. I appreciate this tremendously. The history goes back to the ancient times, Homer's epic poems of the Bronze Age. Why? Well, to explain how and when the Pontic Greeks settled in Turkey(Asia Minor / Ionia). Not only do we learn of the savage killings under Attatürk's rule, but also about the huge efforts he made to nationalize and modernize Turkey. Attatürk literally means "father of the Turks". He renamed Constantinople to Istanbul. To improve literacy, important education reforms were instigated . Muslim women were banned from wearing the black veils that had covered their faces. Monogamous marriages replaced the earlier acceptance of multiple wives. Roman letters replaced Arabic script. He tried to bring Turkey up to the standards of Western life. I like that the good and the bad are stated. This could perhaps be a YA book. When the book shifts to the mother's story, her experiences as a child, that is when you feel that it is aimed toward a younger group of readers. There is a map and information concerning how names are pronounced. I find that I am recognizing cultural similarities with the Greek traditions depicted in Eleni. Eleni is a wonderful book that I will never forget. Eleni's author, Nicholas Gage, and Peter Balakian, the translator of Armenian Golgotha mentioned above, have both praised this book. I still have many pages left, so that is all for now.

  • Λίνα Θωμάρεη
    2019-03-17 15:29

    Ένας από τους λόγους που ξεκίνησα να διαβάζω λογοτεχνία !!!!Υπερ-αγαπημένο!!!!

  • Katerina Efstathiou
    2019-03-24 13:27

    Αγαπητοί φίλοι συναναγνώστες,Πρόκειται για την καταγραφή της μαρτυρίας της μητέρας της συγγραφέως. Νόμιζα, πως αυτό το βιβλίο θα ήταν συγκλονιστικό. Τουλάχιστον, όχι για μένα. Παρ' όλες τις περιγραφές, τη λιτότητα με την οποία περιγράφηκε η βία και η φρίκη του ξεριζωμού στα μάτια και στη συνείδηση ενός 9 χρονου παιδιού, δεν συγκλονίστηκα ως όφειλε. Κατ' εμέ η Σέρρα του Καλπούζου , στην οποία θα πάω ευθύς μετά να αλλάξω βαθμολογία και να της βάλω 4 * άξιζε και με άγγιξε περισσότερο καθότι άφατα πιο λυρική και με περισσότερη λογοτεχνική - φανταστική ματιά. Συμπονώ τη μητέρα της συγγραφέως και καλά έκανε και έβγαλε προς τα έξω την μαρτυρία ενός θύματος αλλά τι να πώ..Ίσως έχω γίνει πολύ περίεργη με αυτά που διαβάζω.Όπως προαναφέρθηκε λοιπόν, το βιβλίο διακρίνεται απο δωρικότητα στις περιγραφές των φρικιαστικών σκηνών θανάτων στο δρόμο. Σε συνταράσσει κάπως το γεγονός πως απο τα 6 παιδιά της οικογένειας επιβιώσαν μόνο 2. Βέβαια, ενώ το βιβλίο ξεκίνησε με τους καλύτερους των οιωνών κρίνω πως το 4ο και τελευταίο μέρος του ήταν τόσο αχρείαστο όσο ένα τζάκι τον κατακαλόκαιρο.Μπορεί να δικαιολογούσα ίσως καμιά σελίδα που να εξηγεί πως (δεν) βρήκαν το χωριό της Σάνο αλλά ως εκεί. Εκείνο που εκτίμησα όμως , βαθύτατα είναι το ιστορικό πλαίσιο των περίπου 30 σελίδων και το θάρρος της συγγραφέως να διαμορφώνει την παγκόσμια κοινή γνώμη κατά της Τουρκίας, κατά της Γαλλίας που δεν στάθηκε στο πλευρό της Ελλάδας και ακόμη περισσότερο κατά της Αμερικής που πληρώθηκε αδρά για να αποσιωποιεί στα μεγάλα πανεπιστήμια την φοβερή συμμετοχή των Τούρκων σε όλη αυτή τη θηριωδία.Αν έχετε κάποιο άλλο βιβλίο με παρόμοιο θέμα να προτείνετε, να ξέρετε σας εκτιμώ διπλά !

  • Megan
    2019-03-06 11:32

    Sano Halo survived the Turkish genocide committed against The Pontic Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians in the early 20th century. It was not until Sano's daughter, Thea, wrote her mother's story after traveling back to Turkey that the fragments of memory were pieced together to create a tragic and beautiful tapestry. I read this book in eight hours, and lost myself in the vivid and often heartbreaking imagery that accompanied the narrative. As the great-granddaughter of Greek immigrants, I found that this story sparked an added curiosity about who and where I came from. My Greek culture has indeed defined much of who I am, and it is infathomable to speculate who I might be without it. Tragically for Sano, much of her culture was all but lost until she reached old age. One of my favorite parts of the book said it most eloquently from Thea's perspective regarding the revelation of a forgotten, or at best, shrouded past:"I had a people. I had love that went beyond the present. That went beyond my own lifetime and my own small life. A love that was somehow ancient. That was connected to the beginning of time."

  • Paige
    2019-03-20 18:34

    I read this book because it had been sitting on my to-read list for years and I'm really trying to downsize it so that I can make actual use of it. I kind of wish I had "downsized" this book.By all outward measures I should have liked it. It's history and memoir. It deals with the little-known genocide & exiles conducted against Christian (in this case Pontic Greek but also Assyrian) minorities in Turkey. A review from the Washington Post Book World says, "It is impossible to read the story of this woman's life without marveling at the strength of her spirit." It gets starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly. And really high reviews here on Goodreads. But I still found it lacking.Even people who love the book note that the writing is not anything special. The book is written in Thea Halo's first person as well as by Thea talking in first person pretending she is her mother, Sano. So that part is kind of awkward and the writing is almost completely lackluster. I'm willing to overlook that in a lot of cases, especially cases similar to this one where the power of the story outweighs lack of skillful writing. So where the book fell flat for me, I guess, can be summed up by two words: rape apologism. Sano is married off at age 15 (or maybe 14; in either case she won't start menstruating for another 2 years) to a 45 year old stranger who promptly rapes her. And physically abuses her on numerous occasions that she mentions in the book. He also verbally abuses her on several occasions that she mentions. He hits and whips their children. She relates a time that he won't "let" her go to the movies with her (female) friend. He abandons her, 40 & pregnant, for months, after giving her the cold shoulder, because he mistakenly thought she had sex with a doctor who examined her. And he didn't tell her about it until 20 years later. Yet all sorts of excuses are made for his behavior. "Oh he felt his growing children slipping away." "I just didn't know how embarrassed he was by my affection." "Oh but he made this garden with his bare hands." "He was so smart, he was better at chemistry than his chemistry teacher." It's gross. And of course I realize that this is the reality that a lot of women had/have. Covering for abusers is par for the course. But this is not treated at all in the book. The words abuse and rape aren't mentioned at all (well, there is a passing mention of Turks raping Greeks, but I guess if a total stranger buys you from the family you live with and forces himself on you it's A-OK as far as Thea Halo is concerned!). Instead, Thea says, "Don't you realize Dad loved you?? Don't you?? HE LOVED YOU, MOM. WELL?" Lady, your mom just confided in you you about how she was raped and abused by this guy and your response is to try and force her into saying that he loved her? Gross.So Sano's spirit may be strong, but this story is not triumphant or redemptive. Even the "happy ending" is really fucking depressing. It is about one perseverant, displaced, downtrodden woman who went through a whole lot of nasty and really really loves her kids. She seems pretty rad. I'm sorry it was Thea who told her story.5 stars for Sano, 1 or 2 stars for Thea's writing but 0 for her misogyny, 4 stars for the book's first 200 pages, and maybe 1 or 2 stars for the last 125.

  • Tiki
    2019-03-11 10:31

    This story is why many in Greece still say "o monos kalos Turkos einai nekros Turkos" or the only good Turk is a dead Turk. This genocide against the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian populations was heartbreaking - maybe more so in Turkey's shameful denial of these events to this day. Just ask writer Orhan Pamuk who was jailed over speaking the truth. Sano's story is one of survival; many weren't that lucky, but it came at a great price which was to lose all her family. This is a beautifully written and haunting story of just one of the many tragic episodes of 20th century genocide.

  • Superstella
    2019-03-24 17:16

    I'm about halfway through this book and don't know if I can continue. The scene that opens one of the chapters got to me so badly that I had to make myself walk away for a while. I simply cannot fathom how one can endure such atrocities and then be expected to continue any sort of normal life. How does one put such things out of one's mind? I hope to be able to pick it back up and continue at some point, but I need to read something lighter in the interim.

  • Sandy
    2019-03-19 16:34

    One of the best books I have ever EVER read. It reads like fiction, it isn't, and you can't believe this really happened. How could this happen? When I am asked what my favorite book is, I tell them Not Even My Name.

  • aizjanika
    2019-03-02 13:14

    By focusing mostly on the story of one Pontic Greek woman who was exiled from her home in Asian Minor (Turkey) at the age of 10, this book also tells the story of all the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians who were also slaughtered or driven from their homes on death marches in the early parts of the 1900s. The author is the daughter of the woman in the story, so it's also the story of the daughter's realization and understanding. The structure of the book is also very interesting, because it tells little tidbits here and there as the mother and daughter go back to Turkey to try to find the village where her mother spent her childhood, then it focuses mainly on the mother's story, and then back to the more recent quest. The story is told with compassion and understanding and without malice towards the Turkish people. As a small child, we had Armenian neighbors and I had known of the Aremenian genocide before, but I did not know of the Assyrian and Pontic Greek genocides that took place at the same time. The Pontic Greeks lived in their villages in what is now part of Turkey for 3000 years. The fact that their story is mostly unknown seems very strange to me, though the book addresses why.

  • Wendy
    2019-03-03 18:13

    Note to self: this would be a fantastic book club book!! The true story of a young girl who survived the genocides in turkey in the 1920's. It is written by her daughter who did a fantastic job of including the history along with the moving story of the mothers difficult life. The memories that are related about the love of the grandmother to the mother are so sweet and encouraging.

  • Annika L
    2019-02-25 17:13

    After hearing about her mother’s history, Thea Halo hoped to take her mother, Sano, back to her childhood home in Turkey. However, when she tried to find the old village on any maps, there was no such place. They decide to return to Turkey anyways and do more research there, and on the way, we hear more about Sano’s complicated past. She had a great childhood with her grandparents, parents, and siblings. Her life was free of any troubles until she and her family were forced by Turkish soldiers to leave. They traveled with many of their neighbors without enough food or water, watching their friends and family die around them. Then, they decide to leave the soldiers at night and run away looking for food and water, which they find, but in return Sano had to stay with a complete stranger to help with cooking and taking care of the children. After she is continually mistreated and finds that most of her family has died, Sano runs away again to find another person to stay with. These people care for her as if she was their own daughter, but arrange for her to get married to a man three times her age. Next, she moves to America with her new husband, only to experience new problems. When Thea and Sano finally find the remains of the old village, they are surprised with what they find. I liked how this book brought necessary attention to a historic event that isn’t well known. Even though it’s much easier to research now, not long ago, this topic was hard to find information on. It also showed how much history affects us today, and why it’s important, which I found interesting. I think it could have said a bit more about Thea and Sano’s experience, finding the villages, but I still think this is a great book for anyone interested in Turkish history or people interested in historic events from different perspectives.

  • Ted Anastopoulo
    2019-03-24 15:21

    Powerful, Thea Halo recounts her mother's life as a Pontic Greek living in Turkey and her forced dislocation following WWI and Mustafa Kemal's notorious death marches. Enjoyed the scenes of village life and especially Sano's journey to America. Would highly recommend, great narrative to use for comparing to the current refugee crisis.

  • Lilisa
    2019-03-20 17:28

    There’s a worthwhile reason to recount history – in the hope that it’s never repeated… Not Even My Name is a heartbreaking account of Sano Halo, a Pontic Greek who lived in Turkey as a child and whose family had deep roots in Turkey having lived there for generations. But between 1915 and 1923, more than 350,000 Pontic Greeks, 750,000 Assyrians and 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered and more than 1.5 million Greeks were exiled from Turkey. At the age of 10, Sano, her entire family and villagers were evicted from their homes and sent off on a march to exile just because they were Christian Greeks. What follows is the devastating account of the family, the loss of life and the utter disregard for it. But the story is also one of survival, hope and the endurance of the human spirit – how despite the harshest of circumstances, Sano survived and began a new life in America – land of the free, outwardly practically obliterating the one she had left behind in Turkey, rarely talking about her childhood to her own children and being the ultimate “American” mother. However, at the instigation and support of her daughter Thea, at the age of 79, Sano returns to Turkey to retrace her steps to search for the home and village she grew up in and the beautiful land she always remembered. A poignant and touching memoir well worth the read.

  • Doreen
    2019-03-16 10:18

    This story is, quite honestly, one of the most touching, lovingly written memoirs I've read. The daughter helps tell her mother's story. It is written with historical fact that is not widely known, as well as with the years of memories her mother has stored in her heart.The Turks drove her mother's people from their land in death marches that we are not taught about in school. Everything is stolen from her mom. Her mother is robbed of her childhood, her innocence, her parents, her siblings, .....and even her own name.Eventually, she marries and comes to America. Her life there, is one of a doting, immigrant mother, and an obedient wife. Her life is for her children, always.It's amazing that she is able to be the loving, kind, generous woman that she is, after all the unkindness, cruelty, and loss she has experienced. Yes, it's a sad story, but also a happy, hopeful story. As her mother, Themia/Santo, has always told her........It is up to us, what we make of our lives.....not of the things that we can't control, but of the things that we CAN control.

  • Michele Benson
    2019-02-23 11:33

    I want to give this book 4.5 stars, because I really did like it. The author tells her mother's story in such a wonderful way. Again, I am embarrassed to say that I did not even know this genocide happened. I mentioned this story to an elderly friend and she was astonished that I had never heard about the atrocities committed, not only against the Pontic Greeks, but also the Armenians and Assyrians. She and her husband had been missionaries in Africa at that time and she knew many people who had been killed or displaced during this death march across Turkey. This book was a great read and I loved the pictures of Sano, Abraham and their children.

  • Deborah
    2019-02-22 11:16

    The central part of this book was a little melodramatic for my taste, although the melodrama was certainly warranted. Genocide deserves to be honored by anger and tears, but the heroine's tears are the tears of a child. By the end, though, the account of Sano's mundane adult life negates the horrible circumstances of her childhood. Too bad she and her daughter Thea aren't sure if they really found her childhood home when they go back to Iondone (Ag. Antoni) in 1989.

  • Archodoula Vlg
    2019-03-07 10:29

    8/5I had people. I had love that went beyond the present. That went beyond my own lifetime and my own small life. A love that was somehow ancient. That was connected to the beginning of time.this book was UNBELIEVABLE!!! It is about the Greek and Assyrian genocide which took place about 100 yeras ago. Being a Greek, I can sympathise with Sano(the mother of Thea Halo). Before i read this book, I thought that the genocide was just some heartless attacks against Greeks who lived there for about 1,000 years before Turkish came. But reading this book i realized that the genocides that took place weren't just the asaults. They were also the culture left behind, seeing family and friends dying from hunger, fatigue and emotional pain. It was for the children that died trying to survive, the mothers who didnt even have the time to give birth to their babies.The message of the book is deep and clear at the same time. You have to live no matter what. That is the point of the book. After all, Sano kept living after losing everyone in her family. She had faith and she was an incredible woman.

  • Eleni
    2019-03-17 16:20

    The cons: As other reviews have stated, it seems as if the editor didn’t do their job. The spelling errors were difficult to ignore. Over the years there have been a lot of cover ups of the mass murders of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians and this book uncovers what Turkey has tried to cover up for years. There are parts of the book that are disturbing but the most disturbing part, in my opinion, is that the US accepted bribes to “assist” Turkey in covering up their murderous past. History repeated itself when the Holocaust occurred because people allowed mass killings to occur, under the guise of the First World War. If you enjoy reading first hand accounts of historical events, you will enjoy the life story of Mrs Halo

  • Dimitris_Ks
    2019-03-09 10:11

    Μία συγκλονιστική ανθρώπινη μαρτυρία μίας γυναίκας που έζησε τον αφανισμό και τον εκτοπισμό των Ποντίων.Βίωσε την απώλεια των δικών της ανθρώπων και έμαθε από την ηλικία των 10 χρόνων να αναλαμβάνει ευθύνες και να συμπεριφέρεται σαν ενήλικας.Στο πρόσωπο της Ευθυμίας βλέπουμε κάθε ξεριζωμένο Έλληνα και πρόσφυγα.Η γραφή του μυθιστορήματος είναι άμεση και πολυ ζωντανή νιώθεις οτι είσαι μέρος της ιστορίας.Ένα βιβλίο που δε πρέπει να λείπει απο καμία βιβλιοθήκη.

  • Alcibiades
    2019-03-20 16:23

    An excellent account of a long forgotten genocide in Turkey. A haunting story of a victim of a brutal ethnic cleansing that has not to date gotten the proper recognition let alone justice by most so-called civilized nations. Highly recommended not only for its historical testimony but also for the light that it sheds on the current genocide of Christians and Yazidis in Turkey's neighbouring countries.

  • Lauralynn
    2019-02-23 13:11

    Excellent book. Well written about events that to this day are still being covered up and hidden.I did not know much of the history mentioned in this book. Amazing life story. This book touched me. She survived so much without bitterness.

  • Ana
    2019-02-27 15:34

    An absolutely beautiful and heart-wrenching story of one girl’s survival. With this book, Thea not only honors her mother and her family, but all the Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians that did and didn’t survived this little known part of history.

  • Seha Ozgur
    2019-03-17 11:38

    It was personally very difficult for me to read this book. Sano’s family’s story journeys through various places in my own past and contains many details that are familiar from the shared and lost history of the peoples of Anatolia.

  • Sonny
    2019-03-18 14:13

    Superb

  • Anita
    2019-03-17 13:40

    Unbelievably, this is all true. Makes me want to pray for suffering refugees everywhere.

  • Katie
    2019-03-20 12:31

    This is one of those books that would have been absolutely amazing based on subject matter alone, but execution prevent it from getting five stars (and maybe even from fulling earning its fourth).The Good: The book elucidates the genocide of Christian Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks in Turkey during the early 1920s, which is an enormously overlooked chapter in history. Admittedly, I didn't know much about it other than that the uber-basic details, and while this book doesn't provide a comprehensive, academic account of what happened, it certainly gives a more than sufficient snapshot. Halo's mother, a Pontic Greek, lived in the small Turkish town of Iondone when the Ottoman Empire attacked, uprooting her life into something unrecognizable. Halo writes the largest section of the book in the first-person voice of her mother, Themia (later renamed Sano---thus inspiring the book's title), and if I based reviews sheerly on how engrossed I was in the book, this section would send the book skyrocketing into the 5-star category. It's an amazing story: heartbreaking, tragic, true...that someone could survive and even prosper under such conditions is almost unimaginable.The Bad: Halo isn't going to win any awards for her writing. It's quite simple, and her dialogue was absolutely inane to the point that it could have---and should have---been left out entirely. It was also super awkward when, in the later stages of the story when Sano lived in NYC and had children, Halo would write about herself in what we know is the first person although since the first person was written as her mother, it came across like the third person...it's just awkward. Besides, I didn't really care about her kids. I mean, yes, they're a sign of just how far she came, but they're not the story. Go away, kids. The strongest components were definitely of Sano's experiences in Turkey and her first years in America, when the story could carry her writing---the rest came across as a bit forced and shallow. (That said, I believe Halo wrote the short poems that kicked off each section of the book, which were beautiful.)Despite the writing flaws, I would absolutely recommend Not Even My Name to almost anyone: It's historical for the history (and especially war) buffs out there, it reads like fiction for the fiction-lovers and the story will simply knock you out of the water.

  • Christiane
    2019-03-12 12:40

    This is one more account of the abject cruelty human beings routinely inflict on others, mainly those that are in some way different. This time it’s the Greek minority in Turkey that is the victim of unspeakable horror, torture, death marches and slaughter.But more than that what captivated me in this story is the incredible courage and strength of will of the author’s mother who together with her family is forced to abandon her village and her short idyllic childhood in the Pontic Mountains. By the age of 10 she has lost all her loved ones, is mistreated by the woman she slaves for in a village of central Turkey, escapes all alone to the city of Diyarbakir, is thrown on the mercy of strangers, with whom (to escape further massacres by the Turks) she has to flee to Syria, where she – a child of 15 - is sold in an arranged marriage to a man old enough to be her father who brutally rapes her on her wedding night and expects her to be mother to his 10-year-old son.At first it bothered me a bit that Thea Halo wrote in her mother’s words instead of in the third person (especially in the beginning the style is a bit too flowery) but once I got caught up in the story it didn’t bother me too much anymore. Salo and husband emigrate to the US where she masters English and many other skills rapidly, works inside as well as outside the home, has 10 children who adore her, stands up to US authorities and to her stern and unaffectionate husband and doesn’t let her tragic memories or any crisis in her life get her down.In her words as told to her daughter : ” It’s the thing that has carried me through life, this feeling that I could do what I set out to do. I can tell just by looking at something if I could master it or not, and once I determine that I can, there is no way to stop me” .

  • Hariklia Heristanidis
    2019-03-16 15:19

    I don't think I can add much to the many excellent reviews already here at Goodreads; the blurb too, describes the book well; but what I can contribute is a very personal response.I chose to read "Not Even my Name" because like Sano, the main "character", my grandparents fled Asia Minor to escape slaughter by the Turks. Where she went to America, my grandparents (from both my mother and father's sides) went to Greece. In the very next generation, my parents fled poverty and political oppression, and fled to Australia. Three successive generations have been born on different continents. I turned 50 a few years ago and perhaps because of this, I began to take an interest in my family's past. I have discovered that genealogical research is somewhat difficult when your ancestors are displaced people! So I have begun reading books about the Greek, Assyrian and Armenian genocide to get a feel for the times that my grandparents lived through. Unlike Thea Halo, the author, my parents did not have access to my grandparents' first hand accounts of the "Asia Minot Catastrophe", my father was orphaned at the age of 3 or 4, and my mother lost her father when she was 10 or so. Her mother was remote, working away from home from Monday to Saturday to support 6 children. By the time she might have thought to question Yiayia about her life, she was living on the other side of the world.Although I don't think any of my grandparents went on a death march, I am grateful to Thea Halo for documenting her mother's amazing story, and giving me an insight into that time.I particularly liked the way the book was structured, and the ratio of historic detail to "story". It's an excellent (though often heartbreaking) read. I'm also grateful that the story of the genocide of "my" people is being told, despite fervent denial - to this day! - by the Turkish government

  • Jane
    2019-03-14 11:19

    More like 2.5. I wanted to like this book more than I did but the book did not meet my expectations. The book was framed with the author's mother, Sano, returning to Turkey after many years to see if the house and village in which she had lived as a child were still there, how things had changed, and at the last, her visit. In between, the author recounts her mother's story through the years, from childhood, the Greek villagers' expulsion by the Turkish government, and a death march of the Pontians [Greeks living in the Black Sea area]. We read of Sano's life with an Assyrian family in south Turkey--they even change her name from Themia to Sano; with an Armenian couple in Aleppo; and eventual marriage to a man decades older than she, Abraham. Finally, the two come to America and they raise their own family. Much of Sano's life was horrendous and heart-breaking. I may be wrong but I felt this book was really more fiction than biography; I fault someone for misrepresentation. To me much sounded implausible, and how could an old woman remember SO many details? The photos added to the book but there were even no acknowledgements. The book did move along smoothly; it was written in a simple, childlike manner. The history the author included was fascinating. And I did enjoy reading about the customs and culture of the peoples in that area. I also learned about an area of history I know little about. The author's mother turned out to be a wise, loving person and I am so glad she did not hate the Turks of years past and those of today. In fact, a pleasant young Turkish man helps her find the location of her village.