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

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