The Black Book is Orhan Pamuk's tour de force, a stunning tapestry of Middle Eastern and Islamic culture which confirmed his reputation as a writer of international stature. Richly atmospheric and Rabelaisian in scope, it is a labyrinthine novel suffused with the sights, sounds and scents of Istanbul, an unforgettable evocation of the city where East meets West, and a boldly unconventional mystery that plumbs the elusive nature of identity, fiction, interpretation and reality.
Other Colours is a collection of immediate relevance and timeless value, ranging from lyrical autobiography to criticism of literature and culture, from humour to political analysis, from delicate evocations of his friendship with his daughter Ruya to provocative discussions of Eastern and Western art. It also covers Pamuk's recent, high profile, court case. My Father's Suitcase, Pamuk's 2006 Nobel Lecture, a brilliant illumination of what it means to be a writer, completes the selection from a man who is now without doubt one of international literature's most eminent and popular figures.
What happens within us when we read a novel? And how does a novel create its unique effects, so distinct from those of a painting, a film, or a poem? In this inspired, thoughtful, deeply personal book, Orhan Pamuk takes us into the worlds of the writer and the reader, revealing their intimate connections. Pamuk draws on Friedrich Schiller's famous distinction between "naive" poets-who write spontaneously, serenely, unselfconsciously-and "sentimental" poets: those who are reflective, emotional, questioning, and alive to the artifice of the written word. Harking back to the beloved novels of his youth and ranging through the work of such writers as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Stendhal, Flaubert, Proust, Mann, and Naipaul, he explores the oscillation between the naive and the reflective, and the search for an equilibrium, that lie at the center of the novelist's craft. He ponders the novel's visual and sensual power-its ability to conjure landscapes so vivid they can make the here-and-now fade away. In the course of this exploration, he considers the elements of character, plot, time, and setting that compose the "sweet illusion" of the fictional world. Anyone who has known the pleasure of becoming immersed in a novel will enjoy, and learn from, this perceptive book by one of the modern masters of the art.
In the late 1590s, the Sultan secretly commissions a great book: a celebration of his life and his empire, to be illuminated by the best artists of the day - in the European manner. At a time of violent fundamentalism, however, this is a dangerous proposition. Even the illustrious circle of artists are not allowed to know for whom they are working. But when one of the miniaturists is murdered, their Master has to seek outside help. Did the dead painter fall victim to professional rivalry, romantic jealousy or religious terror?With the Sultan demanding an answer within three days, perhaps the clue lies somewhere in the half-finished pictures . . . Orhan Pamuk is one of the world's leading contemporary novelists and in My Name is Red, he fashioned an unforgettable tale of suspense, and an artful meditation on love and deception.
As the snow begins to fall, a journalist arrives in the remote city of Kars on the Turkish border. Kars is a troubled place - there's a suicide epidemic among its young women, Islamists are poised to win the local elections, and the head of the intelligence service is viciously effective. When the growing blizzard cuts off the outside world, the stage is set for a terrible and desperate act . . . Orhan Pamuk's magnificent and bestselling new novel evokes the spiritual fragility of the non-Western world, its ambivalence about the godless West, and its fury.
Turkey's greatest living novelist guides us through the monuments and lost paradises, dilapidated Ottoman villas, back streets and waterways of Istanbul - the city of his birth and the home of his imagination.'An extraordinary and transcendentally beautiful book . . . It is a long time since I have read a book of such crystalline originality, or one that moved me so much.' Katie Hickman'This evocative book succeeds at both its tasks. It is one of the most touching childhood memoirs I have read in a very long time; and it makes me yearn -- more than any glossy tourist brochure could possibly do -- to be once again in Istanbul.' Noel Malcom, Sunday Telegraph'An irresistibly seductive book, and its seduction lies not in the author's self-portrait, but in his poetical identification with Istanbul . . . His novels have already made him celebrated throughout the world, but perhaps he will be longest remembered for this wistful memorial to the city of his heart.' Jan Morris, Guardian'Extraordinary and moving.' Financial Times'A declaration of love.' Sunday Times'Magnificent, elegiac, impressionistic.' Literary Review'This erudite book manages to be an addictive childhood memoir, a museum-in-prose of a city with west in its head but east in its soul, and a study of the alchemy between place and self.' - David Mitchell, Guardian
In an old mansion in Cennethisar, a former fishing village near Istanbul, an old widow Fatma awaits the annual summer visit of her grandchildren. She has lived in the village for decades, ever since her husband, an idealistic young doctor, first arrived to serve the poor fishermen. Now mostly bedridden, she is attended by her faithfulservant Recep, a dwarf and the doctor's illegitimate son. They share memories, and grievances, of the early years, before Cennethisar became a high class resort.Her visiting grandchildren are Faruk, a dissipated failed historian; his sensitive leftist sister, Nilgun; and Metin, a high school student drawn to the fast life of the nouveaux riches, who dreams of going to America. But it is Recep's nephew Hassan, a high school dropout, lately fallen in with right-wing nationalist, who will draw the visiting family into the growing political cataclysm issuing from Turkey's tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity.
The Museum of Innocence - set in Istanbul between 1975 and today - tells the story of Kemal, the son of one of Istanbul's richest families, and of his obsessive love for a poor and distant relation, the beautiful Fusun, who is a shop-girl in a small boutique.The novel depicts a panoramic view of life in Istanbul as it chronicles this long, obsessive, love affair between Kemal and Fusun; and Pamuk beautifully captures the identity crisis esperienced by Istanbul's upper classes who find themselves caught between traditional and westernised ways of being.For the past ten years, Pamuk has been setting up a museum in the house in which his hero's fictional family lived, to display Kemal's strange collection of objects associated with Fusun and their relationship. The museum will be called The Museum of Innocence and it opens in 2010.
'I read a book one day, and my whole life was changed.' So begins The New Life, Orhan Pamuk's fabulous road novel about a young student who yearns for the life promised by a dangerously magical book. He falls in love, abandons his studies, turns his back on home and family, and embarks on restless bus trips through the provinces, in pursuit of an elusive vision. This is a wondrous odyssey, laying bare the rage of an arid heartland. In coffee houses with black-and-white TV sets, on buses where passengers ride watching B-movies on flickering screens, in wrecks along the highway, in paranoid fictions with spies as punctual as watches, the magic of Pamuk's creation comes alive.
The White Castle, Orhan Pamuk's celebrated first novel, is the tale of a young Italian scholar captured by pirates and put up for auction at the Istanbul slave market. Acquired by a brilliant Turkish inventor, he is set to work on projects to entertain the jaded Sultan.
A Strangeness In My Mind is a novel Orhan Pamuk has worked on for six years. It is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years' worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul. In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice, to guarding a car park. He observes many different kinds of people thronging the streets, he watches most of the city get demolished and re-built, and he sees migrants from Anatolia making a fortune; at the same time, he witnesses all of the transformative moments, political clashes, and military coups that shape the country. He always wonders what it is that separates him from everyone else - the source of that strangeness in his mind. But he never stops selling boza during winter evenings and trying to understand who his beloved really is. What matters more in love: what we wish for, or what our fate has in store? Do our choices dictate whether we will be happy or not, or are these things determined by forces beyond our control? A Strangeness In My Mind tries to answer these questions while portraying the tensions between urban life and family life, and the fury and helplessness of women inside their homes.