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Summary Of The Book
Merging the life of a writer with the city of his childhood is a truly natural and exciting proposition. This becomes all the more true for an author who has come to symbolize the liberal face of Turkey. Istanbul: Memories And The City by Orhan Pamuk is a shimmering evocation of a city that is both intimate and panoramic. Written with a sense of melancholy, the author describes his life and how the change in the city has affected and shaped the manner in which he perceives the city. A personal memoir, the book also talks about prominent authors and writers who are in some way linked to the city.
Istanbul: Memories And The City is a book that revolves around a serious toddler who lives his life among the complicated lives of his family members. The entire household is ruled by the author’s grandmother, who though old and bedridden, controls the entire family but continuously mourns the fact that her sons are wasting the wealth and fortune of the family. Besides this, the author’s childhood is dominated by his uncle and aunts’ fights, and his parents’ collapsing marriage.
Split between his inner and outer reality, the author creates an alter ego and draws the readers into his dark house crammed with formal yet comfortable furniture, unused pianos, showcases with photographs and jewelry. The unloved and decayed city of Istanbul during the sixties and eighties is aptly described in the book. Applying his prose and skill through the book, the author weaves an intricate story about a city with all its customs and traditions and also provides some self-reflection. All in all, Istanbul: Memories And The City is a stunning novel that begins as the autobiography of the author and eventually becomes the story of an amazing and beautiful city.
About Orhan Pamuk
A Turkish novelist, academician and screenwriter, Orhan Pamuk is also the proud recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 2006.
A major characteristic that is evident in Pamuk’s entire writing style is a loss of identity and confusion, that is a result of the conflict between the values of the East and West. Often troubling and alarming, the books have complex plots and characters. His works are also based on an admiration for various creative arts like literature and painting.
Other books by the author include The White Castle, My Name is Red, Snow, The Black Book, The Museum of Innocence, and The Silent House.
After graduating from the Institute of Journalism at the University of Istanbul, Pamuk became a full time writer. In March 1982, he married Aylin Türegün and they had a daughter named Rüya in 1991. The couple, however, divorced in 2001. Pamuk is currently in a relationship with Kiran Desai, a prominent author. One of the most prominent storytellers of Turkey, his books have sold more than eleven million copies around the world, and have been translated into almost 60 languages.
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