Picador USA May 2000; Govostis Pub. Greek Ed.June 2001; Angel Hat Ltd. May/June 2003; Australian Ed.; Arena Pub. Dutch Ed. September 2003; Salke, Icelandic Ed.
THE NEW YORK TIMES "A story of personal strength and the great triumph of mere survival"
WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD "Deeply moving... it is impossible to read the story of this woman's life without marveling at the strength of her spirit."
SALEM PRESS "...a triumphant narrative of exceptional magnitude. As an historian, daughter, writer of vivid and arresting prose, and standard bearer of truth, Thea Halo has thus given an invaluable gift to the world."
US NEWS & WORLD REPORT - TOP PICK
A survivor's tale from Turkish death marches in 1920 that killed thousands of ethnic Greeks. Young Themia lost family, freedom, even her name - changed to Sano by her cruel mistress. Her daughter
tells the sad story with simple grace.
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY - STARRED REVIEW
"The harrowing story of the slaughter of two million Pontic Greeks and Armenians in Turkey after WWI comes to vivid life" in this memoir by the daughter of a survivor, who has written "an eloquent and powerful account of this tragic chapter in Turkish history."
LIBRARY JOURNAL - STARRED REVIEW
The Armenian genocide in Turkey during World War I is widely known. Almost unknown, however, is the annihilation of the Pontic Greeks, who had lived for 3000 years in the Pontic Mountains near the
Black Sea, by Kemal Ataturk’s military forces after the war. In 1921, one survivor, ten-year-old Sano Halo (the author’s mother), was forced with her entire village on a nearly year-long death march
to Syria. …Sano’s is truly an amazing story of survival and resilience … Even more remarkable is the lack of rancor, which so often permeates survivors’ memoirs. … An important and revealing book;
highly recommended for all libraries. —Ruth K. Baacke,
BOOKLIST - STARRED REVIEW "An unforgettable book" - Hazel Rochman
Booklist also recommends for teens: YA: The child refugee story, the mother-daughter bond, the teenage arranged marriage, will grab teens' interest --HR
In telling her mother's epic story of survival and ultimate triumph in America,
Thea Halo has written an important book about a largely unknown history: the genocide of the Pontic Greeks at the hands of the Turkish government in
the years following World War I. Halo's deeply moving portrait of her mother
reverberates with large moral issues that affect us all.
— Peter Balakian, author of Black Dog of Fate
As written by her daughter Thea, Sano Halo's harrowing account of the destruction of her family and her world is told with such vivid detail that every page sears the mind and the heart. Not Even My Name is a work of burning intensity, self evidently powerful and true.
— Nicholas Gage, author of Eleni
Not Even My Name is the unforgettable story of Sano Halo's survival of the
death march at age 10 that annihilated her family as told to her daughter, Thea and the poignant mother/ daughter pilgrimage to Turkey in search of Sano's home 70 years after her exile. Sano, a Pontic Greek from a mountain village near the Black Sea, also recounts her ancient, pastoral way of life in the Pontic Mountians.
The dreadful realization that something was amiss came little by little to Sano's village. Strangers began to inhabit the fields and forests, always watching from a distance like birds of prey. Turkish soldiers made periodic raids to seize men for slave labor in foul, lice-infested labor camps, where most died of disease, malnutrition and exposure. Then in the spring of 1920, Turkish soldiers pounded on doors with the butts of their rifles and shouted General Mustafa Kemal's (Ataturk) proclamation: "You are to leave this place. You are to take with you only what you can carry " On their death march, victims lay where they fell and buzzards hung above their heads. So ended the 3,000 year history of the Pontic Greeks in Turkey.
Stripped of everything she had ever held dear, even her name, at age 15 Sano was sold into marriage to a man who brought her to America. He was three times her age.
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 nurturing mother and determined woman in twentieth-century New York City.
Although Turkey actively suppresses the truth about the slaughter of almost 3 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 rare, firsthand account of the horrors of that genocide. But Sano's story is also one of triumph; a brilliant and mesmerizing memoir written in haunting and eloquent prose, Not Even My Name weaves a seamless texture of individual memory that evokes all the suspense and drama of the best told tales
Referring to an odd couple, or to silence fears of never finding one’s soulmate, countless mothers around the world, would comfort with, “There’s a lid for every pot.” The title poem speaks to
finding that soulmate. (p. 57) "Over time, however, I’ve come to believe that the ‘lid’ may also refers to finding one’s calling...one’s hat, so to speak." For almost her entire life, Halo thought of
herself as a painter. This collection of Thea Halo's poetry is a welcomed addition to her acclaimed Memoir, Not Even My Name.
Cover sculptures by Timothy Halo
I found myself in a very odd and melancholy mood. … if I try to pinpoint the source of the melancholy, I believe it had to do with the perfection of the whole collection of Thea Halo’s work, and the melancholy, the kind of profound sense that Poe says we feel in the face of something approaching perfection. … It all feels and is of a single spirit, and the words seem to flow so effortlessly, each and every one the right word in the right place and in the best possible combination. Much of what Halo writes reminds me of something within myself and my life. — Anna T. Challenger, Author of Philosophy and Art I Gurdjieff’s “Beelzebub”: A Modern Sufi Odyssey (Value Inquiry Book Series, Vol. 121)
Mystical, ecstatic, Dionysian et al come to mind. These poems dramatize how efficient the form is in that a universe of feeling and emotion can be conveyed in so few words—astounding really. — Eleni Phufas, educator and editor of: The Genocide of the Greeks in Turkey: Survivor Testimonies From The Nicomedia (Izmit) Massacres of 1920-1921
Copyright: March 2002/2008, Thea Halo. All rights reserved.
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