Thursday, October 12, 2006

Turkey's Orhan Pamuk wins Nobel literature prize

'I will try to recover from the shock,' he added, saying he planned to attend the December 10 award ceremony.

In its citation, the academy said Pamuk, who lives and works in Istanbul, 'in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.'

Pamuk,54, was born in Istanbul into a well-off family. After studies at Robert College in his native city where he planned to become an artist, he studied architecture and journalism.
From 1985-1988 he was at Columbia University in New York and also briefly at the University of Iowa.

Pamuk's literary debut came in 1982 with the publication of Cevdet Bey and His Sons, a family saga spanning three generations similar to 1929 German laureate Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks, the academy said.

However, Pamuk's international breakthrough came a decade later with the English translation of The White Castle, set in 16th century Istanbul.

The academy also noted that Pamuk became well known for condemning the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie, his defence of Kurdish author Yasar Kemal in the mid-1990s, and most recently for mentioning the charged subject of the massacre of a million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds by Ottoman forces during the First World War.

Pamuk's interview on the massacre with a Swiss newspaper led to a highly mediatized prosecution on charges of 'insulting Turkishness' but the case was later dropped after international protests.

Read the whole story on Monsters&Critics

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