A View of the Bosporus

From The New York Times:

Panuk ORHAN PAMUK takes the pundit’s dry talk of a “clash of civilizations” and gives it a human face, turns it on its head and sends it spinning wildly. In his early novel “The White Castle,” a Venetian slave and his Ottoman master swap clothes, exchange ideas and squabble like siblings until you can no longer tell who is who — or who’s on top. “I enjoy sitting at my desk,” Pamuk told The Paris Review, in an interview included in his new book, “like a child playing with his toys.” This gift for taking the urgent issues of the day and presenting them as detective stories that race past like footfalls down an alleyway has made Pamuk the best-selling writer in the history of his native Turkey and the deserving winner of last year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, at the unvenerable age of 54. Serving up 16th-century murder stories that investigate shifts in the history of Islamic art and offering us seriously entertaining wild goose tales that ask the deepest questions about identity, Pamuk is that rarest of creatures, a fabulist of ideas.

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