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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.
Since his boyhood in a poor village in Central Anatolia, Mevlut Karatas has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he'd hoped, at the age of twelve, he comes to Istanbul-"the center of the world"-and is immediately enthralled both by the city being demolished and the new one that is fast being built. He follows his father's trade, selling boza on the street, and hopes to become rich like other villagers who have settled on the desolate hills outside the booming metropolis. But chance seems to conspire against him. He spends three years writing love letters to a girl he saw just once at a wedding, only to elope by mistake with her sister. And though he grows to cherish his wife and the family they have, his relations all make their fortunes while his own years are spent in a series of jobs leading nowhere; he is sometimes attracted to the politics of his friends and intermittently to the lodge of a religious guide. But every evening, without fail, he still wanders the streets of Istanbul, selling boza and wondering at the "strangeness" in his mind, the sensation that makes him feel different from everyone else, until fortune conspires once more to let him understand at last what it is he has always yearned for. Told from the perspectives of many beguiling characters, A Strangeness in My Mind is a modern epic of coming of age in a great city, and a mesmerizing narrative sure to take its place among Pamuk's finest achievements.
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of My Name Is Red and Snow, a large-format, deluxe, collectible edition of his beloved memoir about life in Istanbul, with more than 200 added illustrations and a new introduction. 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 h�z�n--that all Istanbullus share: the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire. With cinematic fluidity, Pamuk moves from the lives of 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 Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility, beautifully written and immensely moving.
From the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, an inspired, thoughtful, and deeply personal book about reading and writing novels. In this fascinating set of essays, based on the talks he delivered at Harvard University as part of the distinguished Norton Lecture series, Pamuk presents a comprehensive and provocative theory of the novel and the experience of reading. Drawing on Friedrich Schiller’s famous distinction between “naïve” writers—those who write spontaneously—and “sentimental” writers—those who are reflective and aware—Pamuk reveals two unique ways of processing and composing the written word. He takes us through his own literary journey and the beloved novels of his youth to describe the singular experience of reading. Unique, nuanced, and passionate, this book will be beloved by readers and writers alike. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Knopf Canada is proud to welcome Orhan Pamuk to the list with an inspiring and engaging collection of essays on literary and personal subjects–his first new book since winning the Nobel Prize. In the three decades that Pamuk has devoted to writing fiction, he has also produced scores of witty, moving and provocative essays and articles. Here is a thoughtful compilation of a dazzling novelist’s best non-fiction, offering different perspectives on his lifelong obsessions. Pamuk’s criticism, autobiographical writing and meditations are presented alongside interviews he has given and selections from his private notebooks. He engages the work of other novelists, including Sterne and Dostoyevsky, Salman Rushdie and Patricia Highsmith, and he discusses his own books and writing process. We learn not just how he writes but how he lives as he recounts his successful struggle to quit smoking and describes his relationship with his daughter. Ordinary events–applying for a passport, the death of a relative–inspire extraordinary flights of association as the novelist reflects on everything from the child’s state of being to divergent attitudes towards art in the East and West. Illustrated with photographs, paintings and the author’s own sketches, Other Colors gives us Orhan Pamuk’s world through a kaleidoscope whose brilliant, shifting themes and moods together become a radiant and meaningful whole. From the Hardcover edition.
"Many years have now gone by, and jealousy compels me to keep her name a secret, even from my readers. But I must provide a full and truthful account of what happened." It is mid-1980s Istanbul and Master Mahmut and his apprentice use ancient methods to dig wells - they are desperate to find water in a barren land. This is the tale of their struggle, but it is also a deeper investigation - through mesmerising stories and images - into Pamuk's prevailing themes: fathers and sons, the state and individual freedom, reading and seeing. It is also a richly literary work: The Red-Haired Woman borrows from the tradition of the French conte philosophique and asks probing questions of ethics and of the role of art in our lives. It is both a short, realist text investigating a murder which took place thirty years ago near Istanbul - and a fictional inquiry into the literary foundations of civilizations, comparing two fundamental myths of the West and the East respectively: Sophocles's Oedipus Rex (a story of patricide) and Ferdowsi's tale of Rostam and Sohrab (a story of filicide). The Red-Haired Woman is a masterful and mesmerising work which further confirms Orhan Pamuk as one of our greatest novelists.
In the winter of 2011 Nobel-Prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk took 8,500 color photographs from his balcony with its panoramic view of Istanbul, the entrance of the Bosphorus, the old town, the Asian and European sides of the city, the surrounding hills, and the distant islands and mountains. Sometimes he would leave his writing desk and follow the movements of the boats as they passed in front of his apartment and sailed far away. As Pamuk obsessively created these images he felt his desire to do so was related to a strange particular mood he was experiencing. He photographed further and began to think about what was happening to himself: Why was he taking these photos? How are seeing and photography related? What is the affinity between writing and seeing? Why do we enjoy looking at landscapes and landscape photographs? Balkon presents almost 500 of these photos selected by Pamuk, who has also co-designed the book and written its introduction. 'There is genius in Pamuk's madness.' -Umberto Eco

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