Not Even My Name is a rare eyewitness account of the horrors of a little-known, often denied genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Armenian and Pontic Greek minorities in Turkey were killed during and after World War I. As told by Sano Halo to her daughter, Thea, this is the story of her survival of the death march at age ten that annihilated her family, and the mother-daughter pilgrimage to Turkey in search of Sano's home seventy years after her exile. Sano, a Pontic Greek from a small village near the Black Sea, also recounts the end of her ancient, pastoral way of life in the Pontic Mountains.
In the spring of 1920, Turkish soldiers arrived in the village and shouted the proclamation issued by General Kemal Attatürk: "You are to leave this place. You are to take with you only what you can carry . . . " After surviving the march, Sano was sold into marriage at age fifteen to a man three times her age who brought her to America. 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 woman in twentieth-century New York City.
Although Turkey actively suppresses the truth about the murder of almost three 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 first-hand account of the horrors of that genocide.
"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. Thea 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'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 heart . . . A work of burning intensity, self-evidently powerful and true."—Nicholas Gage, author of Eleni
"Deeply moving . . . It is impossible to read the story of this woman's life without marveling at the strength of her spirit."—The Washington Post Book World
"A story of personal strength and the great triumph of mere survival."—The New York Times
"Thea Halo tells this sad story with simple grace."—U.S. News & World Report
"An unforgettable book."—Booklist (starred review)
"Sano Halo's tale is devoid of pretense, literary or historical, and it is all the stronger for it."—Michael Doran, The Washington Post Book World