From one of the most important and acclaimed writers at work today, a thrilling new novel-part murder mystery, part love story-set amid the perils of religious repression in sixteenth-century Istanbul.
When the Sultan commissions a great book to celebrate his royal self and his extensive dominion, he directs Enishte Effendi to assemble a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed, and no one in the elite circle can know the full scope or nature of the project.
Panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears, and the Sultan demands answers within three days. The only clue to the mystery-or crime?-lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Has an avenging angel discovered the blasphemous work? Or is a jealous contender for the hand of Enishte’s ravishing daughter, the incomparable Shekure, somehow to blame?
Orhan Pamuk’s My Name Is Red is at once a fantasy and a philosophical puzzle, a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex, and power.
“Pamuk is a novelist and a great one…My Name is Red is by far the grandest and most astonishing contest in his internal East-West war…It is chock-full of sublimity and sin…The story is told by each of a dozen characters, and now and then by a dog, a tree, a gold coin, several querulous corpses and the color crimson (‘My Name is Red’)…[Readers will] be lofted by the paradoxical lightness and gaiety of the writing, by the wonderfully winding talk perpetually about to turn a corner, and by the stubborn humanity in the characters’ maneuvers to survive. It is a humanity whose lies and silences emerge as endearing and oddly bracing individual truths.”- Richard Eder, New York Times Book Review
“A murder mystery set in sixteenth-century Istanbul [that] uses the art of miniature illumination, much as Mann’s ‘Doctor Faustus’ did music, to explore a nation’s soul… Erdag Goknar deserves praise for the cool, smooth English in which he has rendered Pamuk’s finespun sentences, passionate art appreciations, sly pedantic debates, [and] eerie urban scenes.”- John Updike, The New Yorker
“The interweaving of human and philosophical intrigue is very much as I remember it in The Name of the Rose, as is the slow, dense beginning and the relentless gathering of pace… But, in my view, his book is by far the better of the two. I would go so far as to say that Pamuk achieves the very thing his book implies is impossible… More than any other book I can think of, it captures not just Istanbul’s past and present contradictions, but also its terrible, timeless beauty. It’s almost perfect, in other words. All it needs is the Nobel Prize.”-Maureen Freely, New Statesman (UK)
“A perfect example of Pamuk’s method as a novelist, which is to combine literary trickery with page-turning readability… As a meditation on art, in particular, My Name is Red is exquisitely subtle, demanding and repaying the closest attention.. We in the West can only feel grateful that such a novelist as Pamuk exists, to act as a bridge between our culture and that of a heritage quite as rich as our own.”-Tom Holland, Daily Telegraph (UK)
“Readers… will find themselves lured into a richly described and remarkable world… Reading the novel is like being in a magically exotic dream…Splendidly enjoyable and rewarding… A book in which you can thoroughly immerse yourself.” -Allan Massie, The Scotsman (UK)
“A wonderful novel, dreamy, passionate and august, exotic in the most original and exciting way. Orhan Pamuk is indisputably a major novelist.”-Philip Hensher, The Spectator (UK)
“[In this] magnificent new novel… Pamuk takes the reader into the strange and beautiful world of Islamic art,in which Western notions no longer make sense… In this world of forgeries, where some might be in danger of losing their faith in literature, Pamuk is the real thing, and this book might well be one of the few recent works of fiction that will be remembered at the end of this century.”-Avkar Altinel, The Observer (UK)