Evan’s War is the sweeping tale of a young coalminer whose life takes a dramatic turn when he joins the army at the onset of the First World War and is sent to fight the Turks at Gallipoli. The book traces the saga of Evan Morgan from childhood in a small coalmining town in the Rhondda Valley of South Wales to Turkey and beyond. The cast of characters includes Welsh and English, Turk and Armenian, American, Australian and Indian.
Leaving behind his childhood sweetheart, Gwyn, with a promise of marriage once the war ends, Evan arrives in Gallipoli unprepared for the horrors of trench warfare. But he finds an inner strength that sustains him during the terror of the landings and ensuing campaign against the solidly entrenched Turkish army. When he is wounded and taken prisoner, Evan finds himself in a prison hospital near what was then Constantinople. A series of events brings him to seek refuge from the war in a seemingly serene farming village on the shores of the Bosphorus populated by Turks and Armenians. Here, while seeking peace and contentment, he falls increasingly under the spell of a beautiful but mute Armenian girl with a tragic past. And it is here that the course of his life changes in ways he could never have imagined.
Evan’s story is one of divided loyalties: the emotional pull of his homeland and the peaceful, bucolic life he finds in the village; his love for the free-spirited poet he left behind in Wales, and for the Armenian village girl. It is also one of conflict between nations, and between neighbors who cannot live together in peace. Above all it is a tale of Evan Morgan’s journey from childhood to maturity in a world gone mad.
Malcolm Stevens has lived and worked in the United States, England, Turkey and Lebanon. A scientist by profession, he has a B.S. degree from San Jose State and a Ph.D. from Cornell.
Although Evan’s War is his first work of fiction, Stevens has four other books to his credit: two chemistry books—one a textbook in its third edition with Oxford University Press—and two history books that he coauthored with his wife, Marcia Reed Stevens. One of the history books, Against the Devil’s Current: The Life and times of Cyrus Hamlin, details the life of a remarkable 19th century American missionary to Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. He has also authored or coauthored numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and in Encyclopedia Britannica. With his wife he has coauthored articles that have been published in Aramco World Magazine and the English language Armenian journal Ararat.
Stevens’ professional career includes work as an industrial chemist and teaching at Robert College, Istanbul, the American University of Beirut, and the University of Hartford. He currently lives with his wife, Marcia, in Connecticut, U.S.A., where he is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hartford.