A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

R320.00

Winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for literature, and an author known for his enduring love for his home city Istandbul, Orhan Pamuk has written  his masterpiece, A Strangeness in My Mind. Briefly, although it’s hard to be brief with a book such as this, the story follows the life of Mevlut, a boza (fermented drink) seller, and his family from 1969 to 2012 in Istanbul. Mevlut’s personal history is set against a backdrop of Istanbul, and described from his view point. Forty years of change, socially, culturally, politically is experienced, and retold through the simplicity of his yearnings, desires and experiences. This is a remarkably written book, multilayered and dense with meaning and description. The monumental approach of the novel is kept in tight rein with Pamuk’s simple, stirring and often ironic prose. Don’t be put off by the sheer length and scale of it; highly recommended.

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SKU: 9780571276004 Categories: ,

Description

Since his boyhood in a poor village in Central Anatolia, Mevlut Karataş has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he’d hoped, at the age of twelve he comes to Istanbul—“the center of the world”—and is immediately enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He follows his father’s trade, selling boza (a traditional mildly alcoholic Turkish drink) on the street, and hoping to become rich, like other villagers who have settled the desolate hills outside the booming metropolis. But luck never seems to be on Mevlut’s side. As he watches his relations settle down and make their fortunes, he spends three years writing love letters to a girl he saw just once at a wedding, only to elope by mistake with her sister. And though he grows to cherish his wife and the family they have, he stumbles toward middle age in a series of jobs leading nowhere. His sense of missing something leads him sometimes to the politics of his friends and intermittently to the teachings of a charismatic religious guide. But every evening, without fail, Mevlut still wanders the streets of Istanbul, selling boza and wondering at the “strangeness” in his mind, the sensation that makes him feel different from everyone else, until fortune conspires once more to let him understand at last what it is he has always yearned for.

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