My Name Is Red

My Name Is Red

Book - 2001
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At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.

The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. 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. The ruling elite therefore mustn't know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery-or crime? -lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power.

Translated from the Turkish by Erda M Göknar
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2001
Edition: First Vintage International edition
ISBN: 9780375706851
Characteristics: xv, 417 pages : map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Göknar, Erdağ M.


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May 19, 2015

I don't put a lot of stock in Prize winning, bestseller lists and the like. I read the books which sound interesting and intriguing to me. For about fifteen years or so I have passed My Name is Red on bookshelves, thinking to myself, "I should read that. It sounds interesting." Then I worried whether the book was all it was cracked up to be or not. Well...It is. Written in the tone of The Arabian Nights or a Medieval epic, My Name is Red is sensitively written, with delicate sentence structure, and memorable perspectives. I HIGHLY recommend it.

RenGrrl May 02, 2011

Very interesting read! An insiders look at at life in the Turkish capital and the politics of art.


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notTom Dec 16, 2010

Nobel Prize-winning Pamuk sets this murder mystery in Istanbul during the height of the Ottoman Empire. A sultan commissions a group of artists to create an illustrated book based on his life. When the body of the lead artist appears at the bottom of a well, the clues to his demise must be found within the paintings themselves. Melded into the “whodunit” nature of this novel is an examination of 16th-century Turkish mores and customs, as well as a study of the role figurative art plays in the Islamic religion.


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Apr 07, 2008

Beauty is the eye discovering in our world what the mind already knows.


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