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index / 50 years with Istanbul Orhan Pamuk

As a small child Orhan Pamuk began drawing pictures because he wanted ‘to possess a second world without feeling guilty for existing.’ The trees and crows which abounded in those early pictures were seen as a sign of talent, and until finishing high school everyone assumed he was going to become an artist. That was the reason his first love left him. But he astonished everyone by starting to write, and since 1974 has written many novels that are already classics of Turkish literature. They have been published around the world in thirty languages. Apart from his last but one book, Snow, all Orhan Pamuk’s novels are set in Istanbul. In his latest book, Istanbul, Memories and the City, he relates his own 50 years as it coincides with the history of the city. Your books have been translated into thirty languages, and read all over the world. What impression of Turkey do your readers get from them? Of course those who only know Turkey from my books know it through Istanbul. So they know the intensive cultural structure of the city, built from layers of history and culture, and its multiple identity.

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