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A Good Place To Start

Snow 2
The White Castle 1

A Bad Place To Start

My Name is Red 1


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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Orhan Pamuk

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sharon January 28th, 2006 09:42 AM PST

Orhan Pamuk is the most important contemporary Turkish novelist, and the only one widely known to Western readers. His books are wonderful, mostly about Turkey or the former Ottoman Empire ambiguously located between East and West. Some are set in distant centuries; some are contemporary. His recent novels, My Name Is Red and the very new Snow, are thrilling but difficult. Readers may want to start with the delightful earlier novel, The White Castle (unrelated to hamburgers), which is about a case of switched identity in the early Renaissance. At once a mystery, cultural commentary, and an exploration of how we know who we are, and do we ever really know.

McDruid February 2nd, 2006 05:29 PM PST

The White Castle is definitely a more accessible book than Red, although the latter has garnered more international publicity.

In January 2006 charges against him for insulting the Turkish identity were dropped after international outcry. The charges were filed after he made comments about the 1915 Armenian massacres.


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