My Name is Red

My Name is Red Description:

At once a fiendishly devious mystery a beguiling love story and a brilliant symposium on the power of art i My Name Is Red i is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth century Istanbul from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers br br 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 i My Name is Red i is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art religion love sex and power

Rating: 3.78 out of 5

Snow

Snow Description:

A spellbinding tale of disparate yearnings for love art power and God set in a remote Turkish town where stirrings of political Islamism threaten to unravel the secular order by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature br br From the acclaimed author of My Name Is Red comes a spellbinding tale of disparate yearnings for love art power and God set in a remote Turkish town where stirrings of political Islamism threaten to unravel the secular order br br 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 An apparent thaw of his writer s curiosity a frozen sea these many years leads him to Kars a far off town near the Russian border and the epicenter of the suicides br br No sooner has he arrived however than we discover that Ka s motivations are not purely journalistic for in Kars once a province of Ottoman and then Russian glory now a cultural gray zone of poverty and paralysis there is also Ipek a radiant friend of Ka s youth lately divorced whom he has never forgotten As a snowstorm the fiercest in memory descends on the town and seals it off from the modern westernized world that has always been Ka s frame of reference he finds himself drawn in unexpected directions not only headlong toward the unknowable Ipek and the desperate hope for love or at least a wife that she embodies but also into the maelstrom of a military coup staged to restrain the local Islamist radicals and even toward God whose existence Ka has never before allowed himself to contemplate In this surreal confluence of emotion and spectacle Ka begins to tap his dormant creative powers producing poem after poem in untimely irresistible bursts of inspiration But not until the snows have melted and the political violence has run its bloody course will Ka discover the fate of his bid to seize a last chance for happiness br br Blending profound sympathy and mischievous wit Snow illuminates the contradictions gripping the individual and collective heart in many parts of the Muslim world But even more by its narrative brilliance and comprehension of the needs and duties

Rating: 3.35 out of 5

The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence Description:

It was the happiest moment of my life though I didn t know it br br So begins the new novel his first since winning the Nobel Prize from the universally acclaimed author of i Snow i and i My Name Is Red i br br It is 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 F sun 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 br br For eight years Kemal will find excuses to visit another Istanbul that of the impoverished backstreets where F sun 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 F sun 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 br br A stirring exploration of the nature of romantic attachment and of the mysterious allure of collecting i The Museum of Innocence i 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

Rating: 3.27 out of 5

Istanbul: Memories and the City

Istanbul: Memories and the City Description:

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 i h i i z i i n i that all i Istanbullus i share the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire With cinematic fluidity Pamuk moves from his glamorous unhappy parents to the gorgeous decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus from the dawning of his self consciousness to the writers and painters both Turkish and foreign who would shape his consciousness of his city Like Joyce s Dublin and Borges Buenos Aires Pamuk s i Istanbul i is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility beautifully written and immensely moving

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

The Black Book

The Black Book Description:

b A New Translation and Afterword by Maureen Freely b br br Galip is a lawyer living in Istanbul His wife the detective novel loving Ruya has disappeared Could she have left him for her ex husband or b b Cel l a popular newspaper columnist But Cel l too seems to have vanished As Galip investigates he finds himself assuming the enviable Cel l s identity wearing his clothes answering his phone calls even writing his columns Galip pursues every conceivable clue but the nature of the mystery keeps changing and when he receives a death threat he begins to fear the worst br br With its cascade of beguiling stories about Istanbul b The Black Book b is a brilliantly unconventional mystery and a provocative meditation on identity For Turkish literary readers it is the cherished cult novel in which Orhan Pamuk found his original voice but it has largely been neglected by English language readers Now in Maureen Freely s beautiful new translation they too may encounter all its riches

Rating: 3.53 out of 5

The White Castle

The White Castle Description:

From a Turkish writer who has been compared with Borges Nabokov and DeLillo comes a dazzling novel that is at once a captivating work of historical fiction and a sinuous treatise on the enigma of identity and the relations between East and West br In the th century a young Italian scholar sailing from Venice to Naples is taken prisoner and delivered to Constantinople There he falls into the custody of a scholar known as Hoja master a man who is his exact double In the years that follow the slave instructs his master in Western science and technology from medicine to pyrotechnics But Hoja wants to know more why he and his captive are the persons they are and whether given knowledge of each other s most intimate secrets they could actually exchange identities br Set in a world of magnificent scholarship and terrifying savagery b The White Castle b is a colorful and intricately patterned triumph of the imagination

Rating: 3.64 out of 5

The New Life

The New Life Description:

The protagonist of Orhan Pamuk s fiendishly engaging novel is launched into a world of hypnotic texts and literally Byzantine conspiracies that whirl across the steppes and forlorn frontier towns of Turkey And with The New Life Pamuk himself vaults from the forefront of his country s writers into the arena of world literature Through the single act of reading a book a young student is uprooted from his old life and identity Within days he has fallen in love with the luminous and elusive Janan witnessed the attempted assassination of a rival suitor and forsaken his family to travel aimlessly through a nocturnal landscape of traveler s cafes and apocalyptic bus wrecks As imagined by Pamuk the result is a wondrous marriage of the intellectual thriller and high romance

Rating: 3.32 out of 5

A Strangeness in My Mind

A Strangeness in My Mind Description:

i A Strangeness In My Mind i 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 br br In the four decades between and 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 br br 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 br br i A Strangeness In My Mind i 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

Rating: 3.79 out of 5

Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın

Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın Description:

Een puttengraver en zijn jonge leerling hebben de opdracht gekregen om water te vinden op een droge vlakte in de buurt van Istanbul Terwijl ze afzien in de zomerse hitte ontstaat er een hechte band tussen de oudere man en de jongen wiens vader verdween nadat hij gearresteerd werd voor politiek subversieve activiteiten De twee leren op elkaar te vertrouwen en vertellen verhalen om de tijd te doden Maar dan stuit de jongen op een avond in een nabijgelegen dorpje waar ze proviand kopen op een afleiding die hij niet kan weerstaan een roodharige vrouw lid van een rondreizend theatergezelschap De fascinatie lijkt wederzijds en zijn wildste dromen worden bewaarheid maar tijdens zijn afwezigheid wordt de oude puttengraver getroffen door een tragische gebeurtenis br br i De vrouw met het rode haar i is een verleidelijke roman over familie en romantiek over het Oosten en het Westen en over traditie en de moderne wereld geschreven door een van de grootste vertellers van onze tijd

Rating: 3.42 out of 5

Sessiz Ev

Sessiz Ev Description:

Biri tarih i biri devrimci biri de zengin olmay akl na koymu torun stanbul yak nlar ndaki Cennethisar kasabas ndaki babaannelerini ziyaret eder dedelerinin yetmi y l nce siyaset y z nden s rg n edildi inde yapt rd evde bir hafta kal rlar Bu s rede babaannelerinin doksan y ll k an larla y kl ge mi i a r a r aralan rken dedenin Do u ile Bat aras ndaki u urumu bir rp da kapataca n sand b y k bir ansiklopediyi yaz hat rlan r Evde sessiz g zlemleriyle ku aklar aras nda k pr kuran tan klar bah e duvarlar n n tesinde ise aile ile ilgilenen tutkulu gen lerin hareketleri vard r Sessiz Ev Orhan Pamuk un ikinci roman Yay mland nda heyecanla kar lanm pek ok yabanc dile evrilmi yurt d nda d ller alm t

Rating: 3.78 out of 5