|Lily on a hike to the beach at Balaklava|
I have had the delightful experience these last few weeks of getting to know Lily Hyde, the British author of Dream Land, the young adult novel published in 2008 about the Crimean Tatar return to their homeland, as seen through the eyes of a young Crimean Tatar girl. It is the only novel about the Crimean Tatars available in English, and I have long recommended it to any English speaker interested in knowing more about Crimean Tatar history and culture. For several years, copies of Dream Land have been circulating amongst Peace Corps Volunteers here, and it has become the must-read for any Volunteer assigned to Crimea.
|French edition, 2011|
|UK edition, 2008|
A French translation was published in 2011, and last year, Leilya Seitkalilova, English and Crimean Tatar teacher at the Crimean Engineering and Pedagogical University in Simferopol (commonly known as the Crimean Tatar University), took on the task of translating Dream Land into Crimean Tatar. The finished edition came from the publisher just in time for the annual Deportation Day memorial gathering in Simferopol on May 18th, and the book was launched at a large event at the University on May 21st.
Lily and I both have a passionate love of Crimea and the Crimean Tatar people and have shared many hikes and discussions these past few weeks. I congratulate her on her wonderful achievement of taking the Crimean Tatar stories she learned from numerous interviews and bringing them to life through the tale of a young girl returning to her homeland. And now the publication of Dream Land in Crimean Tatar will give Crimean Tatar speakers a chance to read this important book in their native language. Lily—and many of her fans--hope that the availability of Dream Land will continue to grow through future translations in Turkish, Russian, and Romania, the languages of the vast Crimean Tatar diasporas.
|Crimean Tatar edition, 2013|
For more information about Lily and her books, check out her website www.lilyhyde.com.