What would make a soldier betray his country? In the battle-smoke and chaos of Gallipoli, a young New Zealand soldier helps a Turkish doctor fighting to save a boy's life. Then a shell bursts nearby; the blast that should have killed them both consigns them instead to the same military hospital. Mahmoud is a Sufi. A whirling dervish, he says, of the Mevlevi order. He tells David stories. Of arriving in London with a pocketful of dried apricots. Of Majnun, the man mad for love, and of the saint who flew to paradise on a lion skin. You are God, we are all gods, Mahmoud tells David; and a bond grows between them. A bond so strong that David will betray his country for his friend. Daisley's astonishing debut novel is a story of war and of love how each changes everything, forever. Traitor is that rarest of things: a work of fiction that will transport the reader, heart and soul, into another realm.
Australian Prime Ministers Medal 2011.
Shortlisted for Commonwealth Writer's Prize Best First Book SE Asia and South Pacific 2011.
'This well crafted debut novel deserves to be noticed.' Canberra Times
'Daisley's Traitor is suffused with love, beauty and loneliness ... His book is a revelation ... A rare pleasure.' Australian Literary Review
'Stephen Daisley's debut novel is one of beautiful contrasts … Daisley's greatest success in this novel is the depiction of a simple man with great depth.' The Age
'Daisley's debut is a confident and haunting exploration of the nature of betrayal and signals an important new talent.' The Listener
'Terrific debut from NZ writer based in Australia. One soldier's act of courageous compassion at Gallipoli sees him branded a traitor. But who betrayed whom? Exquisitely crafted and beautifully written.' Sunday Star Times
Stephen Daisley was born in New Zealand in 1955. He has served in the New Zealand Army and worked at a variety of jobs in New Zealand and Australia including on sheep and cattle stations. Traitor is his first novel. He now lives in Perth.