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Essays and a Story

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In the three decades that Nobel prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk has devoted himself to writing fiction, he has also produced scores of witty, moving, and provocative essays and articles. He engages the work of Nabokov, Kundera, Rushdie, and Vargas Llosa, among others, and he discusses his own books and writing process. We also learn how he lives, as he recounts his successful struggle to quit smoking, describes his relationship with his daughter, and reflects on the controversy he has attracted in recent years. Here is a thoughtful compilation of a brilliant novelist's best nonfiction, offering different perspectives on his lifelong obsessions with loneliness, contentment, and the books and cities that have shaped his experience.
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In the three decades that Nobel prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk has devoted himself to writing fiction, he has also produced scores of witty, moving, and provocative essays and articles. He engages the work of Nabokov, Kundera, Rushdie, and Vargas Llosa, among others, and he discusses his own books and writing process. We also learn how he lives, as he recounts his successful struggle to quit smoking, describes his relationship with his daughter, and reflects on the controversy he has attracted in recent years. Here is a thoughtful compilation of a brilliant novelist's best nonfiction, offering different perspectives on his lifelong obsessions with loneliness, contentment, and the books and cities that have shaped his experience.
Product Details
Paperback (464 pages)
Published: November 11, 2008
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307386236
Other books byOrhan Pamuk
  • Snow

    Snow
    Dread, yearning, identity, intrigue, the lethal chemistry between secular doubt and Islamic fanaticism–these are the elements that Orhan Pamuk anneals in this masterful, disquieting novel. An exiled poet named Ka returns to Turkey and travels to the forlorn city of Kars. His ostensible purpose is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head-scarves. But Ka is also drawn by his memories of the radiant Ipek, now recently divorced. Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, Ka finds himself pursued by figures ranging from Ipek’s ex-husband to a charismatic terrorist. A lost gift returns with ecstatic suddenness. A theatrical evening climaxes in a massacre. And finding god may be the prelude to losing everything else. Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow is of immense relevance to our present moment.

    The Museum of Innocence

    The Museum of Innocence
    “It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn’t know it.” So begins the new novel, his first since winning the Nobel Prize, from the universally acclaimed author ofSnow and My Name Is Red. It is 1975, a perfect spring in Istanbul. Kemal, scion of one of the city’s wealthiest families, is about to become engaged to Sibel, daughter of another prominent family, when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shopgirl and a distant relation. Once the long-lost cousins violate the code of virginity, a rift begins to open between Kemal and the world of the Westernized Istanbul bourgeosie—a world, as he lovingly describes it, with opulent parties and clubs, society gossip, restaurant rituals, picnics, and mansions on the Bosphorus, infused with the melancholy of decay—until finally he breaks off his engagement to Sibel. But his resolve comes too late. For eight years Kemal will find excuses to visit another Istanbul, that of the impoverished backstreets where Füsun, her heart now hardened, lives with her parents, and where Kemal discovers the consolations of middle-class life at a dinner table in front of the television. His obsessive love will also take him to the demimonde of Istanbul film circles (where he promises to make Füsun a star), a scene of seedy bars, run-down cheap hotels, and small men with big dreams doomed to bitter failure. In his feckless pursuit, Kemal becomes a compulsive collector of objects that chronicle his lovelorn progress and his afflicted heart’s reactions: anger and impatience, remorse and humiliation, deluded hopes of recovery, and daydreams that transform Istanbul into a cityscape of signs and specters of his beloved, from whom now he can extract only meaningful glances and stolen kisses in cars, movie houses, and shadowy corners of parks. A last change to realize his dream will come to an awful end before Kemal discovers that all he finally can possess, certainly and eternally, is the museum he has created of his collection, this map of a society’s manners and mores, and of one man’s broken heart. A stirring exploration of the nature of romantic attachment and of the mysterious allure of collecting,The Museum of Innocence also plumbs the depths of an Istanbul half Western and half traditional—its emergent modernity, its vast cultural history. This is Orhan Pamuk’s greatest achievement. From the Hardcover edition.

    My Name Is Red

    My Name Is Red
    At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers. The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed. The ruling elite therefore mustn’t know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery–or crime? –lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power. Translated from the Turkish by Erda M Göknar

    Silent House

    Silent House
    In a crumbling mansion in a gentrified former fishing village on the Turkish coast, the widow Fatma awaits the annual visit of her grandchildren: Faruk, a dissipated historian; his sensitive leftist sister, Nilgün; and Metin, a high schooler drawn to the fast life of the nouveaux riche. Bedridden, Fatma is attended by her faithful servant Recep, a dwarf—and her late husband’s illegitimate son. Mistress and servant share memories, and grievances, from the past. But the arrival of Recep’s cousin, Hasan, a fervent right-wing nationalist, threatens to draw the family into the political cataclysm arising from Turkey’s tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity. Written in the 1980s but never before published in English, this spellbinding novel is a stunning addition to the works of Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk.

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