Orhan Pamuk Biography

Orhan Pamuk


Type: Novelist, Screenwriter

Born: 7 June 1952,Istanbul, Turkey


Pamuk is the author of novels including "The White Castle", "The Black Book", "The New Life", "My Name Is Red", "Snow" and "The Museum of Innocence". He is Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches writing and comparative literature.

Born in Istanbul, Pamuk is the first Turkish Nobel laureate. He is also the recipient of numerous other literary awards. "My Name Is Red" won the 2002 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, 2002 Premio Grinzane Cavour and 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

The European Writers' Parliament came about as a result of a joint proposal by Pamuk and José Saramago. In 2005, the ultra-nationalist lawyer Kemal Kerinçsiz sued Pamuk over his statement regarding the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. His intention, according to Pamuk himself, had been to highlight issues relating to freedom of speech in the country of his birth. The court initially rejected to hear the case, but in 2011 Pamuk was ordered to pay 6,000 liras in total compensation for having insulted the plaintiffs' honor.

Many of Pamuk’s novels, often autobiographical and intricately plotted, show an understanding of traditional Turkish Islamic culture tempered by a belief that Turkey’s future lies in the West.

Bibliography in English:

  • The White Castle, 1991
  • The Black Book, 1994
  • The New Life, 1997
  • My Name is Red. 2001
  • Snow, translated 2004
  • Istanbul: Memories of a City‎, 2005
  • Other Colors: Essays and a Story, 2007

Orhan Pamuk Quotes

Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.. Orhan Pamuk
Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.

After all, a woman who doesn't love cats is never going to be make a man happy.

Sometimes I sensed that the books I read in rapid succession had set up some sort of murmur among themselves, transforming my head into an orchestra pit where different musical instruments sounded out, and I would realize that I could endure this life because of these musicales going on in my head.

...at the end of the day there was nothing to be gained by reminding people that everything that had ever been written, even the greatest and most authoritative texts in the world, were about dreams, not real life, dreams conjured up by words.

She looked out the window; in her eyes was the light that you see only in children arriving at a new place, or in young people still open to new influences, still curious about the world because they have not yet been scarred by life.

Tell me then, does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?

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