Altaic Peoples & Tales (阿尔泰各民族及其故事) Last Quarter of the Moon (额尔古纳河右岸)

20th-century Saga of the Reindeer-herding Evenki to Be Rendered in Turkish

Dedalus Kitap has purchased the Turkish publishing rights to Chi Zijian’s Last Quarter of the Moon, confirms Grayhawk Agency’s Gray Tan,who represents the author worldwide. The novel has already appeared in English (my rendition), ItalianDutch, and Spanish too.

The_Last_Quarter_of_the_MoonThis seems especially fitting, as the Evenki speak a Tungusic tongue that—like Turkish and Mongolian—is a member of the Altaic family of languages.

Narrated in the first person by the aged wife of the last chieftain of an Evenki clan, Last Quarter of the Moon (额尔古纳河右岸) is a moving tale of the decline of reindeer-herding nomads in the sparsely populated, richly forested mountains that border on Russia.

Over the last three centuries, three waves of outsiders have encroached upon the Evenki’s isolated way of life: the Russians, whose warring and plundering eventually pushed the Evenki down from Siberia to the southern bank of the Argun River, the tributary of the Amur that defines the Sino-Russian border; the Japanese, who forcibly recruited them into the ranks of the Manchukuo Army; and the Han Chinese of the People’s Republic, who felled the forests that are crucial to the survival of reindeer, outlawed hunting, and eventually coerced the Evenki to leave the mountains for life in a “civilized” permanent settlement.