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 16th-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.
"Complex and interesting"
Since his boyhood Mevlut Karataş has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he'd hoped, at the age of 12 he comes to Istanbul - "the center of the world" - and is immediately enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He follows his father's trade, selling boza on the street and hoping to become rich like other villagers who have settled the desolate hills outside the booming metropolis. But luck never seems to be on Mevlut's side.
Following years of lonely political exile in Western Europe, Ka, a middle-aged poet, returns to Istanbul to attend his mother's funeral. Only partly recognizing this place of his cultured, middle-class youth, he is even more disoriented by news of strange events in the wider country: a wave of suicides among girls forbidden to wear their head scarves at school.
"All the good & bad that is Pamuk"
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, picnics, and mansions on the Bosphorus, infused with the melancholy of decay.
"one of the very best I've ever heard"
A shimmering evocation, by turns intimate and panoramic, of one of the world’s great cities, by its foremost writer. Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and still lives in the family apartment building where his mother first held him in her arms. His portrait of his city is thus also a self-portrait, refracted by memory and the melancholy - or hüzün - that all Istanbullus share: the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire. Like Joyce’s Dublin and Borges’ Buenos Aires, Pamuk’s Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility, beautifully written and immensely moving.
"travel that never leaves home"
In an old mansion in Cennethisar, a former fishing village near Istanbul, a 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, ran afoul of the sultan's grand vizier and arrived to serve the poor fishermen. Now mostly bedridden, she is attended by her constant servant Recep, a dwarf - and the doctor's illegitimate son.
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 best-selling novel evokes the spiritual fragility of the non-Western world, its ambivalence about the godless West, and its fury.
The moving story of a Turkish family gathering in the shadow of the impending military coup of 1980. In an old mansion in a village near Istanbul, a widow awaits the annual 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 faithful servant Recep, a dwarf - and her late husband's illegitimate son.
It is a perfect spring day in Istanbul. Kemal, a wealthy heir, is about to become engaged to the aristocratic Sibel, when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shop girl. He falls in love and finds his established world of Westernized families, opulent parties, society gossip, and dining-room rituals is shattered.
"The Museum of Innocence"
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.
In Istanbul, 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. 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?
Kann man die falsche Frau heiraten und trotzdem die große Liebe finden? Mevlut ist elf, als er Ende der 60er Jahre von einem Dorf in Anatolien nach Istanbul kommt. Abends wandert er durch die Altstadt und bietet Boza feil, ein leicht alkoholisches Hirsegetränk. Auf der Hochzeit seines Cousins verliebt er sich in die jüngere Schwester der Braut.
Orhan Pamuks Istanbul ist erfüllt von einer zauberhaften Melancholie des Niedergangs. Hier ist er aufgewachsen im Kreise seiner Großfamilie...
"On Trial" by Orhan Pamuk; "Cyber City" by Daniel Radosh; "The Baghdad Daily Bugle" by Bruce McCall; "The Inheritance" by Ken Auletta; "Becoming Mary Poppins" by Caitlin Flanagan; and "Beasts and Beauties" by David Denby.
"The Pirates' Code" by James Surowiecki; "On Impact" by Ian Frazier; "Forbidden Fare" by Orhan Pamuk; "If I Vanished" by Stuart Dybek; "Fractured Franchise" by Louis Menand.
Istanbul in den 70er Jahren: Kurz vor seiner Verlobung trifft Kemal zufällig in einem schicken Laden eine entfernte arme Verwandte...
In der Türkei brodelt es, der Militärputsch vom 12. September 1980 wirft seine Schatten voraus. Wie jedes Jahr verbringen die Geschwister Faruk, Metin und Nilgün den Sommer am Marmarameer...
Ein Fremder kommt in die türkische Provinzstadt Kars, um eine merkwürdige Serie von Selbstmorden zu untersuchen...
Istanbul 1591: Kara kehrt nach zwölf Jahren aus nach Istanbul zurück, um das Herz Seküres zu erobern...
"Party Talk" by David Remnick; "The New Bathroom Wall" by Lizzie Widdicombe; "The Redirection" by Seymour Hersh; "The View" by Orhan Pamuk; "Spider Woman" by Burkhard Bilger; and "Free Spirits" by David Denby.