Cover of My Name Is RedThought I'd share a couple of contemporary Turkish authors with you...one this week, one next. Their books are available in English and you can find them at Borders, Amazon, etc.
You've probably heard of Orhan Pamuk because he's a Nobel Laureate - the first Turkish citizen to claim that prize, in fact. He's currently a humanities professor at Columbia University.
Pamuk has also been in the news quite a bit for his statements about Kurds and Armenians. Some Turkish people felt his actions were controversial and criminal proceedings ensued, turning the whole thing into a freedom of speech fiasco. There were even book burnings in Turkey. "Insulting Turkishness" is kind of a big deal. I try to stay on the right side of that dangerous invisible line.
His books are a lesson in the conflict between Eastern and Western values. I've only read one so far: Snow, which was all about head scarves and army corruption in remote Kars. The heavy read is a long, drawn-out, unfulfilled romance which reminded me of Russian authors. Tolstoy is the first that comes to mind. I guess if you like Faulkner-type novels, this is a good one for you. I prefer more mythical, escapist reads myself. Even so, My Name is Red, is still on my TBR. The Ottoman setting sounds like something I'm going to appreciate.