Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient


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By John D Balian

In a remote Turkish village, young Hanna's days are filled with merry adventures fueled by his father's tales of wonder and heroism. Meanwhile, his nights are spent in frightful vigil with his mother, as squads of brigands stalk the village defended by only his father and fellow villagers. Despite this precarious existence, Hanna can imagine no other home... until an unimaginable tragedy strikes and life as he knows it abruptly ends.

As his family splinters apart, Hanna is thrust into an odyssey of lurking dangers, dashed hopes and thwarted ambitions. He finds refuge in a seminary in Jerusalem, where, now known as Jonah, he can cherish his heritage and new identity. Yet this sanctuary is also snatched away when Jonah finds himself caught in the crossfire of the Holy City's unholy wars.

Banished back to Istanbul, Jonah narrowly escapes a campaign of purges by the feared Turkish secret service. Resorting to a fugitive subsistence in foreign lands, a despondent Jonah is recruited by his former rival to join a clandestine group. With the specter of a hellish existence in a Turkish prison as a constant threat, Jonah must choose between abandoning his principles to carry out a barbaric mission to exact revenge, or find a new path to pursue an improbable dream in the New World.

Steeped in ancient rituals, Middle Eastern traditions and modern intrigue, Gray Wolves and White Doves is a unique, captivating story of a child's search for self amid rekindled feuds and the turmoil of a changing world.

CreateSpace (2011)