Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2006, is the author of many books, including The White Castle and The Black Book. In 2003 he won the International IMPAC Award for My Name is Red, and in 2004 Faber published the translation of his novel Snow, which Margaret Atwood called 'essential reading for our times'. Istanbul, a memoir of his life in the city, was shortlisted for the BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize.
Orhan Pamuk's first novel Cevdet Bey and His Sons was published in 1982. He followed on with The Silent House, which in French translation won the 1991 Prix de la découverte européene. The White Castle (1985) about the frictions and friendship between a Venetian slave and an Ottoman scholar was published in English and many other languages. In New York City in 1988, he wrote most of his novel The Black Book, which enlarged Pamuk's fame both in Turkey and internationally as an author at once popular and experimental, and able to write about past and present with the same intensity.
His novel The New Life, about young university students influenced by a mysterious book, was published in Turkey in 1994 and became one of the most widely read books in Turkish literature. My Name Is Red, about Ottoman and Persian artists and their ways of seeing and portraying the non-western world, told through a love story and family story, was published in 1998. This novel won the French Prix Du Meilleur Livre Etranger, the Italian Grinzane Cavour (2002) and the International IMPAC Dublin literary award (2003). From the mid-1990s Pamuk took a critical stance towards the Turkish state in articles about human rights and freedom of thought, although he took little interest in politics. Snow, which he describes as 'my first and last political novel,' was published in 2002. In this book set in the small city of Kars in northeastern Turkey he experimented with a new type of 'political novel,' telling the story of violence and tension between political Islamists, soldiers, secularists, and Kurdish and Turkish nationalists. In 1999 a selection of his articles on literature and culture written for newspapers and magazines in Turkey and abroad, together with a selection of writings from his private notebooks, was published under the title Other Colours.
Pamuk's most recent book, Istanbul, is a poetical work that is hard to classify, combining the author's early memoirs up to the age of 22, and an essay about the city of Istanbul, illustrated with photographs from his own album, and pictures by western painters and Turkish photographers.
Apart from three years in New York, Orhan Pamuk has spent all his life in the same streets and district of Istanbul, and he now lives in the building where he was raised. Pamuk has been writing novels for 30 years and never done any other job except writing. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages.