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My Name Is Redby Orhan Pamuk
A New York Times Notable Book for 2001
A curious read, this. Essentially a murder mystery, the characters are painters, miniaturists, and illuminators in 1590s Istanbul during the Ottoman Empire. Each chapter is written in the voice of the character presented — a corpse, a dog, Satan, a miniaturist, a horse, a murderer. Pamuk offers a many-layered plot and a fascinating glimpse into the clash of cultures experienced by Islamic society in this era.
Synopses & Reviews
Pamuk's widely acclaimed and richly detailed historical thriller, which has been favourably compared with Umberto Eco's "The Name Of The Rose", and which featured heavily in last year's broadsheet "Books Of The Year" round-ups. A murder mystery set in sixteenth century Istanbul, it is also a meditation on love, artistic devotion and the historical and cultural differences between East and West. "Magnificent...In this world of forgeries, where some might be in danger of losing their faith in literature...might well be one of the few recent works of fiction that will be remembered at the end of this century" "Observer".
"This intellectual mystery will appeal to fans of Eco, Pears, and Perez-Reverte." Nancy Pearl, Booklist
"Pamuk is a novelist and a great one....My Name is Red is by far the grandest and most astonishing contest in his internal East-West war....[Readers will] be lofted by the paradoxical lightness and gaiety of the writing, by the wonderfully winding talk perpetually about to turn a corner, and by the stubborn humanity in the characters' maneuvers to survive. It is a humanity whose lies and silences emerge as endearing and oddly bracing individual truths." Richard Eder, The New York Times Book Review
"It is neither passion nor homicide that makes Pamuk's latest, My Name is Red, the rich and essential book that it is....It is Pamuk's rendering of the intense life of artists negotiating the devilishly sharp edge of Islam 1,000 years after its brith that elevates [the novel] to the rank of modern classic....To read Pamuk is to be steeped in a paradox that precedes our modern-day feuds between secularism and fundamentalism." Jonathan Levi, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Pamuk is getting at a subject that has compelled modern thinkers from Heidegger to Derrida....My Name is Red is a meditation on authenticity and originality....An ambitious work on so many levels at once." Melvin Jules Bukiet, Chicago Tribune
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 goes missing and is feared murdered, their master seeks outside help.
About the Author
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.
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