Monday, December 21, 2015
Orhan Pamuk's 'A Strangeness of Mind'
Thanks to one of my clients who is an avid reader with fantastic judgement about literature, I am immersed in Orhan Pamuk's new novel 'A Strangeness of Mind'. Not to tell the story, but this is an absorbing tale of a young man who moves to Istanbul from a rural village during an era of rapid growth in Istanbul. He and his father attempt various trades to make a meager living in an increasingly complex social and political mileu. The protagonist is a seller of Boza, a traditional drink, and his demandingly physical work, wandering the city at night calling out his wares, evokes a changing Istanbul near the end of the 20th century. His friendships, loves, luck and loss of luck, and struggle for a secure life, make for a fascinating read that helps one understand much about Istanbul, about 'Turkishness' and many of its seeming contradictions to non-Turks. Highly recommended if you have some quiet time during the holidays.