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Kenize Mourad
ISBN # : 978965160367
Publisher: Alhamra
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Memories of an Ottoman Princess (De la part de la princesse morte) has been an immediate bestseller in every country where it has already appeared. A work of epic proportions, it is also a love letter from a daughter the author to the mother she never knew.

This authentic story begins in 1918 at the court of the last sultan of Ottoman Empire. Selma, the beautiful granddaughter of Sultan Mourad V, is only seven when she witnesses an empire crumble. The sultanate is dissolved and the royal family exiled. Selma, who has lost a country and a father at the same time, grows to womanhood in Beirut. Here she will meet her first love, a young Druze chieftain; but which will only lead to a broken heart. Following tradition, and in view of the deteriorating family financial situation, Selma agrees to an arranged marriage to a wealthy Indian rajah, whom she has never met. In India under British colonial rule she will live in royal splendour, and will witness the last days of the British Empire and the struggle for independence. But in India, just as in Lebanon, she is always considered a "foreigner." She flees India for Paris ostensibly to give birth to the rajahs heir but actually to seek freedom. But the Second World War breaks out, and Selma, destitute and terrified, finds herself stranded in German-occupied Paris. There, she gives birth to a daughter and a few months later dies tragically at the age of 29.

Keniz Mourad the author is the daughter. She spent four years researching and writing this work, retracing her mothers footsteps, from the splendour of the palaces in Istanbul to Beirut, India, and thence to Paris. She interviewed people, consulted countless archives and records, and then wrote this extraordinary book.

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