Thursday, June 7, 2012

Author Birthday: Orhan Pamuk

(photo credit: John Smock/ Associated Press)

From today's Writer's Almanac:
The Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk (books by this author) celebrates his 60th birthday today. He was born in Istanbul in 1952 and grew up in a fairly wealthy and Westernized district. He studied architecture and then journalism, but at 23 years old, he decided to become a novelist. He lived with his mother and wrote full time, and seven years later, he published his first novel, Cevdet Bey and His Sons (1982). He's worked as a novelist for 30 years and has never held any other kind of job, and apart from three years he spent in New York, he's lived his entire life in the Istanbul district of his birth. 
In 2005, Pamuk gave an interview in which he made remarks about the Armenian Genocide and the mass killing of tens of thousands of Kurds. He said: "Thirty thousand Kurds have been killed here, and a million Armenians. And almost nobody dares to mention that. So I do." Criminal charges were filed against Pamuk in Turkey, and his statements resulted in a new law making it illegal to make anti-Turkish remarks. There was an international outcry, and several noted authors — including Gabriel García Márquez, Umberto Eco, John Updike, and Günter Grass — spoke out in Pamuk's defense. The charges were dropped early in 2006. 
Recent books include The Naïve and Sentimental Novelist (2010) and Pieces from the View: Life, Streets, Literature (2010).
 Orhan Pamuk is an author I've been meaning to read for years, yet have a vague sense of intimidation when faced with his work. The Museum of Innocence is on my shelf, but I'm not sure that's the best place to begin. Have you read Pamuk? Do you have any recommendations?


Louise Erdrich is also celebrating a birthday today. Here is my Author Birthday post from last year.

10 comments:

  1. I've read 1/2 of Istanbul. I liked it, but it was kind of gloomy, which is why it's been sitting 1/2 finished on my shelf for about 5 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Softdrink - That's not very encouraging...

      Delete
  2. Thanks for Orhan Pamuk's birthday notice. Also sad that Ray Bradbury passed. Re. The Stranger's Child, yes, as I said in the tweet (140 characters just won't do), I quit in Part 2. And Part 1 sounds like Brideshead Revisited to which I'm listening. Ever since Downton Abbey ends earlier this year, I've been familiarizing myself with England during WW1 and the period, books and films. Have finished a few... will post about them later. Any recommendations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arti - I read Brideshead Revisited about 5 yrs ago and liked it very much. Since Downton Abbey, I've become much more interested in WW1 era England, too. Howards End is a favorite. The Remains of the Day is on my list to read. Will look forward to your post.

      Delete
  3. Great post, very interesting! I really do need to read some of Pamuk's works - it'll be interesting to see what suggestions are made. :)

    New to your blog!
    Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephanie - Judging from the scarcity of recommendations, it seems that Pamuk intimidates many other bloggers, too! Thanks for stopping by - it's nice to meet you :-)

      Delete
  4. His fiction scares me, but I did enjoy Istanbul. I read it after spending a day there on a cruise of the Mediterranean. It is depressing, but he writes about it with such love. I also read another of his books, a book of essays, Other Colours. Much like Istanbul, a little somber, but still readable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riadergirl3 - Is there anything better than reading a book at the location in which is set? I did have my eye on Istanbul... maybe his nonfiction would be a better place to start.

      Delete
  5. JoAnn, I've read 'Snow' by Orhan Pamuk and just loved it - 5 stars and everything. It was a bit sad and gloomy but at the same time, so beautiful, interesting and fascinating. He is fantastic with words!
    (http://christinarosendahl.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/orhan-pamuk-snow-review/)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christina - Thank you so much for the recommendation. Snow is the book I am most interested in reading!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails