'Mother Land is a memoir by Melbourne writer Dmetri Kakmi, about his childhood in the late 1960s on the island of Bozcaada (also known as Bozca Island) in the Aegean Sea, at the entrance to the Dardanelle Straits, at a time when political tensions between Greece and Turkey were at their peak, and the islands Greek population was subject to intimidation by its Turkish government.
'The memoir begins as a vivid portrayal of traditional island life on Bozcaada, in all its beauty, poverty, and ignorance, as experienced by the child. At the age of eight he lives on the cusp of two opposing cultures, their historical animosity intensified since the sack of Smyrna and the population exchanges of the 1920s, by the Greek pogroms of 1956 and 1964, and the tense build-up to the invasion of Cyprus.
'As the situation deteriorates, he witnesses acts of violence and degradation, not only between the inhabitants of the island, but amongst his school friends and between his own parents, acts in which he sometimes participates, and which erode his innocence and his sense of humanity. Finally his family is forced to flee the island and to migrate to Australia. Years later, the adult Dmitri returns in the hope of making peace with the past.' (Provided by publisher)