If you read only one book by Orhan Pamuk

The White Castle is short, fun, and Calvinoesque.  Not his best book but an excellent introduction and guaranteed to please.  Snow is deep, political, and captures the nuances of modern Turkey; it is my personal favorite.  The New Life isn’t read often enough; ideally it requires not only a knowledge of Dante, but also a knowledge of how Dante appropriated Islamic theological writings for his own ends.  My Name is Red is a complex detective story, beloved by many, often considered his best, but for me it is a little fluffy behind the machinations.  The Black Book is the one to read last, once you know the others.  Istanbul: Memories and the City is a non-fictional memoir and a knock-out.


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