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Orhan Pamuk The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006

Orhan Pamuk
 "I don't want to be a tree; I want to be its meaning."
Orhan Pamuk (My Name Is Red)

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006 awarded to Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) “who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures”
"The first thing I learned at school was that some people are idiots; the second thing I learned was that some are even worse. "
— Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)
Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952 and grew up in a large
family similar to those which he describes in his novels Cevdet Bey and His Sons and The Black Book, in the wealthy westernised district of Nisantasi. As he writes in his autobiographical book Istanbul, from his childhood until the age of 22 he devoted himself largely to painting and dreamed of becoming an artist. After graduating from the secular American Robert College in Istanbul, he studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University for three years, but abandoned the course when he gave up his ambition to become an architect and artist. He went on to graduate in journalism from Istanbul University, but never worked as a journalist. At the age of 23 Pamuk decided to become a novelist, and giving up everything else retreated into his flat and began to write.
Orhan Pamuk
Orhan Pamuk first novel Cevdet Bey and His Sons was published seven years later in 1982. The novel is the story of three generations of a wealthy Istanbul family living in Nisantasi, Pamuk's own home district. The novel was awarded both the Orhan Kemal and Milliyet literary prizes. The following year Pamuk published his novel The Silent House, which in French translation won the 1991 Prix de la découverte européene. The White Castle (1985) about the frictions and friendship between a Venetian slave and an Ottoman scholar was published in English and many other languages from 1990 onwards, bringing Pamuk his first international fame. The same year Pamuk went to America, where he was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York from 1985 to 1988. It was there that he wrote most of his novel The Black Book, in which the streets, past, chemistry and texture of Istanbul are described through the story of a lawyer seeking his missing wife. This novel was published in Turkey in 1990, and the French translation won the Prix France Culture. The Black Book enlarged Pamuk's fame both in Turkey and internationally as an author at once popular and experimental, and able to write about past and present with the same intensity. In 1991 Pamuk's daughter Rüya was born. That year saw the production of a film Hidden Face, whose script by Pamuk was based on a one-page story in The Black Book.

Orhan Pamuk novel The New Life, about young university students influenced by a mysterious book, was published in Turkey in 1994 and became one of the most widely read books in Turkish literature. My Name Is Red, about Ottoman and Persian artists and their ways of seeing and portraying the non-western world, told through a love story and family story, was published in 1998. This novel won the French Prix du meilleur livre étranger, the Italian Grinzane Cavour (2002) and the International IMPAC Dublin literary award (2003). From the mid-1990s Pamuk took a critical stance towards the Turkish state in articles about human rights and freedom of thought, although he took little interest in politics. Snow, which he describes as “my first and last political novel” was published in 2002. In this book set in the small city of Kars in northeastern Turkey he experimented with a new type of “political novel”, telling the story of violence and tension between political Islamists, soldiers, secularists, and Kurdish and Turkish nationalists. Snow was selected as one of the best 100 books of 2004 by The New York Times. In 1999 a selection of his articles on literature and culture written for newspapers and magazines in Turkey and abroad, together with a selection of writings from his private notebooks, was published under the title Other Colours. Pamuk's most recent book, Istanbul, is a poetical work that is hard to classify, combining the author's early memoirs up to the age of 22, and an essay about the city of Istanbul, illustrated with photographs from his own album, and pictures by western painters and Turkish photographers.
"My unhappiness protects me from life."
— Orhan Pamuk
Orhan Pamuk’s books have been translated into 46 languages, including Georgian, Malayan, Czech, Danish, Japanese, Catalan, as well as English, German and French. Pamuk has been awarded The Peace Prize, considered the most prestigious award in Germany in the field of culture, in 2005. In the same year, Snow received the Le Prix Médicis étranger, the award for the best foreign novel in France. Again in 2005, Pamuk was honoured with the Richarda Huck Prize, awarded every three years since 1978 to personalities who “think independently and act bravely.” In the same year, Orhan Pamuk was named among world’s 100 intellectuals by Prospect magazine. In 2006, TIME magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential persons of the world. In September 2006, he won the Le Prix Méditerranée étranger for his novel Snow. Pamuk is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and holds an honorary doctorate from Tilburg University. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the Chiese Academy for Social Sciences. Pamuk gives lectures once a year in Columbia University. Lastly, he received the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the second youngest person to receive the award in its history.
"How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?"
— Orhan Pamuk (Snow)
Apart from three years in New York, Orhan Pamuk has spent all his life in the same streets and district of Istanbul, and he now lives in the building where he was raised. Pamuk has been writing novels for 30 years and never done any other job except writing.
Orhan Pamuk with his daughter Ruya
Orhan Pamuk married Aylin Tofajjal Turegen, 1982 (divorced, 2001); children: Ruya (daughter)( born in1991 )

Orhan Pamuk Awards and honours
• 1979 Milliyet Press Novel Contest Award (Turkey) for his novel Karanlık ve Işık (co-winner)
• 1983 Orhan Kemal Novel Prize (Turkey) for his novel Cevdet Bey and His Sons
• 1984 Madarali Novel Prize (Turkey) for his novel The House of Silence
• 1990 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (United Kingdom) for his novel The White Castle
• 1991 Prix de la Découverte Européenne (France) for the French edition of Sessiz Ev : La Maison de Silence
• 1991 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (Turkey) Best Original Screenplay Secret Face
• 1995 Prix France Culture (France) for his novel Kara Kitap : Le Livre Noir
• 2002 Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (France) for his novel My Name Is Red : Mon Nom est Rouge
• 2002 Premio Grinzane Cavour (Italy) for his novel My Name Is Red
• 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (Ireland) for his novel My Name Is Red
• 2005 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Germany)
• 2005 Prix Médicis Etranger (France) for his novel Snow : La Neige
• 2005 Ricarda-Huch Prize
• 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature (Sweden)
• 2006 Washington University's Distinguished Humanist Award (United States)
• 2006 Puterbaugh Award (United States)
• 2008 Ovid Award (Romania)
• 2010 Norman Mailer Lifetime Achievement Award
Orhan Pamuk Doctorates "Honoray Degrees"
• 2003 American University of Beirut
• 2007 Tilburg University
• 2007 Georgetown University
• 2007 Free University of Berlin, Department of Philosophy and Humanities
• 2007 Boğaziçi University, Department of Western Languages and Literatures
• 2008 Madrid University
• 2008 Membership of the American Academy for Arts and Literature
• 2008 Membership of the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences

Orhan Pamuk Books


Orhan Pamuk Works in Turkish
• Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları (Cevdet Bey and His Sons), novel, Istanbul: Karacan Yayınları, 1982
• Sessiz Ev (The Silent House), novel, Istanbul: Can Yayınları, 1983
• Beyaz Kale (The White Castle), novel, Istanbul: Can Yayınları, 1985
• Kara Kitap (The Black Book), novel, Istanbul: Can Yayınları, 1990
• Gizli Yüz (Secret Face), screenplay, Istanbul: Can Yayınları, 1992
• Yeni Hayat (The New Life), novel, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1995
• Benim Adım Kırmızı (My Name is Red), novel, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1998
• Öteki Renkler (Other Colors), essays, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1999
• Kar (Snow), novel, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2002
• İstanbul: Hatıralar ve Şehir (Istanbul: Memories and the City), memoirs, Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2003
• Masumiyet Müzesi (The Museum of Innocence), novel, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2008
• Manzaradan Parçalar: Hayat, Sokaklar, Edebiyat (Pieces from the View: Life, Streets, Literature), essays, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2010
Orhan Pamuk

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