The Crescent Moon Fox – the debut book by Turkish Cypriot author Metin Murat – was launched in London last week.
The novel, set in Cyprus from the British colonial rule era through to the turn of the millennium, was promoted by the publisher Armida Books at the London Book Fair.
The three-day event in Olympia was attended by more than 25,000 professionals from the publishing industry, gathering for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Among those praising The Crescent Moon Fox was Matthew Parris, a columnist for The Times and The Spectator, who wrote:
“Metin has chosen the trickiest of terrains for setting and characterisation in The Crescent Moon Fox. Greek Cypriot–Turkish Cypriot relations remain unsettled and the politics neuralgic but his story and the people who inhabit it break through all that. I cannot recommend it too highly.”
Armida Books also hosted a glittering book launch at The Reform Club on Thursday night, which brought together prominent figures in the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities, members of Parliament, journalists, academics, and friends and relatives of Metin Murat.
Notables included renowned music composer Tolga Kashif, Enfield Councillor Alev Cazimoglu, Olay Newspaper editor Nesin Fehmi, and Professor Matthew Francis, who read extracts from the book.
The Reform Club on Pall Mall is known as a venue where those advocating progressive thinking and social change gather, and it proved to be very apt as Murat and his publisher Kris Konnaris, who is a Greek Cypriot, gave candid answers to a wealth of questions about the book to relations between the two Cypriot communities, and the role of education.
About The Crescent Moon Fox
Murat’s debut novel is described as “a compassionate, heart-breaking, brutal and occasionally humorous”, giving a rare voice in literature to the under-represented Turkish Cypriot community.
The book is centred on two men, Zeki and Aydin, living in a village in Cyprus during the island’s transition from British colonial rule to Independence and the tragic events that took hold after.
The author reflects his positive feelings towards the British era, depicting Zeki as a man destined for great things having been shaped and nurtured by the British colonial system. Aydin is a complex character who is regarded by his community as a misfit, yet goes on to achieve success and redemption.
The Crescent Moon Fox is available to buy from all good bookshops in Britain and online. Murat, whose family hails from Balalan in the Karpaz region, will be travelling to Cyprus at the end of May to promote his new book across the island.
About Author Metin Murat
Metin Murat is a British-born Cypriot Turk. He grew up in a multi-cultural environment with deep exposure to English, French and Welsh cultures. For much of his working life he has had close ties with North Africa, the Levant and the Gulf. He currently lives in France with his wife.
He received his history and literary education from Aberystwyth University and his business education from the London School of Economics.
For much of his adult life Metin worked for a multinational organisation before setting up his own company in 2011. His debut novel realises a dual ambition: to tell the story of his father’s community, the original Turkish community of Cyprus; and to use literature as a path to tolerance and reconciliation.