Books by Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk is the author of six novels and the recipient of major Turkish and international literary awards. He is one of Europe's most prominent novelists, and his work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Istanbul.

Released: Aug. 22, 2017

"A disappointment, though no book by this skillful and ambitious writer is without interest."
A youthful misdeed prompts lifelong guilt in the protagonist of this brooding novel about fathers, sons, and the power of stories by Nobel laureate Pamuk (A Strangeness in My Mind, 2015, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"Rich, complex, and pulsing with urban life: one of this gifted writer's best."
Nobel laureate Pamuk (The Museum of Innocence, 2009, etc.) sets a good-natured Everyman wandering through Istanbul's changing social and political landscape.Read full book review >
SILENT HOUSE by Orhan Pamuk
Released: Oct. 12, 2012

"Using a repetitive, circular, incremental technique, Pamuk builds a multifaceted panorama distinguished by his customary intellectual richness and breadth."
Previously unpublished in English, the Turkish Nobel Laureate's second novel spins characteristic themes of history and national identity outward from a three-generational domestic scenario. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 26, 2009

"Another richly woven tale suffused with life and color from one of contemporary fiction's true master craftsmen."
Curious and demanding new novel from Turkey's 2006 Nobel laureate, both closely akin to and somewhat less accomplished than its universally acclaimed predecessors (Snow, 2004, etc.). Read full book review >
OTHER COLORS by Orhan Pamuk
Released: Sept. 24, 2007

"Luminous writing that reveals a sweeping intelligence and a capacious heart."
Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories in Literature, 2005, etc.), the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Literature, offers an eclectic collection of more than 75 pieces—interviews, acceptance speeches, affecting fiction, memories, meditations and tributes and more. Read full book review >
ISTANBUL by Orhan Pamuk
Released: June 10, 2005

"An engrossing tale of a city—and of an author as a young man. "
An eerie, subtle evocation of childhood and a melancholic, loving ode to home. Read full book review >
SNOW by Orhan Pamuk
by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely
Released: Aug. 22, 2004

"An astonishingly complex, disturbing view of a world we owe it to ourselves to better understand. "
Internationally acclaimed Turkish writer Pamuk (My Name is Red, 2001, etc) vividly embodies and painstakingly explores the collision of Western values with Islamic fundamentalism. Read full book review >
MY NAME IS RED by Orhan Pamuk
Released: Sept. 6, 2001

"A rich feast of ideas, images, and lore."
Acclaimed Turkish writer Pamuk (The New Life, 1997, etc.) investigates two brutal murders—and offers a whimsical but provocative exploration of the nature of art in an Islamic society. Read full book review >
THE NEW LIFE by Orhan Pamuk
Released: April 1, 1997

A quirky and fascinating exercise in postmodernist metaphysics from the acclaimed Turkish author of The White Castle (1991) and The Black Book (1995). Its protagonist and narrator, Osman, is a young university student in Istanbul who, having seen a beautiful girl carrying a book one day, comes upon another copy, and discovers as he reads it that his life is instantly changed ("the world where I lived ceased to be mine, making me feel I have no domicile") and that he is compelled to follow wherever the book's spell leads him. He finds the girl (Janan, also a student) and joins her search for her missing lover Mehmet—another student, as it turns out, who has abandoned his studies and spends his days endlessly re-reading and hand-copying that very book, for "enthusiasts" who support his labors in order to possess the book themselves. Osman loses Janan, finds her, then loses her again for good following their failure to rescue Mehmet from his obsession. And Osman/Pamuk opens up level beyond level of meaning and implication, as he travels to various locales that seem to promise a solution to the mystery of the book (whose contents are never fully revealed) and its readers—most notably, the mansion of Mehmet's father Doctor Fine, a wealthy merchant, who believes his countrymen's infatuation with the book represents a denial of traditional Turkish culture resulting from a "Great Conspiracy" involving "agents of the CIA and Coca-Cola." Years later, having married and fathered a child, Osman learns more about the book's author and the disturbingly mundane sources of its inspiration—and, in a clever surprise delayed until the novel's last page, understands what the promised "new life" is and why he and others have sought it so eagerly. Intricate and teasing, this Borgesian chiaroscuro urbanely surveys the intermingling of East and West and adds a brilliant new chapter to Pamuk's ongoing investigation of the enigmas of individual and national identity. Read full book review >
THE BLACK BOOK by Orhan Pamuk
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

Turkey's celebrated postmodernist continues the exploration of identity begun in The White Castle (1991) in this often claustrophobic, byzantine mystery appropriately set in the author's native Istanbul. The city, like the story itself, is haunted by the past, a history that includes the Islamic conquest, the long dying of the Ottoman empire, the modernization implemented by Ataturk, and recent regimes threatened by Marxist and military plots. As snow begins to fall, Galip, a young lawyer, comes home to find that his wife, Ruya, a first cousin with whom he grew up in the old apartment block their family once owned, has disappeared, leaving him a 19-word farewell note written in green ink. Telling their family that Ruya is ill, Galip embarks upon a search for her that becomes both a realistic and metaphysical process of detection as he meticulously pursues even the slenderest clues. Convinced that Ruya is hiding out with her half-brother Jelal, a famous newspaper columnist who has also disappeared, Galip starts reading Jelal's old columns in search of clues. These erudite and idiosyncratic columns — everything from examinations of Islamic mysticism to musings on the day when extensive pollution will cause the Bosphorus to dry up — alternate with the chapters recording the ongoing investigation. Galip, long jealous of Jelal, assumes the columnist's identity by moving into one of his many hideouts, wearing his clothes, impersonating him on the phone, and even writing his columns. Like Jelal, Galip is also obsessed with the nature of identity, with reading secrets from people's faces, and with the possibility "of being both someone else and also myself." But this intense and often merely philosophical search ends abruptly in tragedy, and Galip is left writing stories like Jelal; for writing is the "sole consolation." Shades of Calvino with a Turkish twist. And with as many layers as a piece of baklava. Read full book review >
Released: April 16, 1991

The American debut of a short (164-page), elegant, and intellectually provocative novel by acclaimed Turkish writer Pamuk—a novel that asks, in the voice of one character, "Why I am what I am." A contemporary scholar publishes a recently discovered 17th-century manuscript that tells the story of an Italian student, captured by Turks and brought to Istanbul. There, the student uses his medical knowledge, and instead of being sold as a galley-slave is bought by a teacher called Hoja. Hoja, though a few years older, bears an uncanny resemblance to the student. Anxious to acquire all the new learning from the West, Hoja insists that the student teach him all that he knows. Yearning to gain the sultan's favor, Hoja has conceived of a variety of projects that might advance him. The two men—who, as the years pass, have told each other everything of themselves and all each knows—have become barely distinguishable in thought and appearance. Together, they create an elaborate fireworks display for a celebration, give the young sultan advice, make predictions about the plague that rages through the city, and, when war breaks out, are commissioned to build a great weapon. This weapon, a monstrous hybrid of all that Hoja has learned about the West, is to be used against the White Castle of the sultan's enemies—but it fails, and one of the men flees to Italy. His true identity is suggested in an ending that itself raises further questions. A subtle fable—never ponderous, told in a vividly evoked setting—about the risks men take when they assimilate each other's cultures too completely. Read full book review >