A Strangeness in My Mind - Orhan Pamuk

With The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk took fiction one step further than usual by building an actual structure—open to the public—to house real objects his invented characters might have used. His eighth novel gains a similar richness by putting its fictional elements into the documentary trappings of timelines, family trees, and an index, as well as letting the characters interrupt the narrator to add and revise details, as in an oral history. The multi-layered A Strangeness in My Mind (Knopf, $28.95) starts as a fairy-tale love story that soon fractures and takes decades to resolve. The book is also an intimate love letter to Istanbul, charting events from the 1950s to the present. While Istanbul may be the main character, the focus is Mavlut Karsas, one of the many poor villagers who come to the big city to seek their fortune. If that means financial security, Mavlut never quite attains it, and after twenty years he feels “still a stranger” in Istanbul. But he works hard, loves his family, and likes to watch people and try to guess their stories. His own includes many set pieces of Turkish cultural history, including topics like matchmaking, headscarves, the role of street vendors in urban life, and the long saga of boza, an ancient drink Mavlut sells every winter, topping it with chickpeas and cinnamon, and holding the perennial debate over the extent of its alcohol content; such things stabilize both the characters and their city as they go through times of often turbulent change.

A Strangeness in My Mind: A novel By Orhan Pamuk, Ekin Oklap (Translated by) Cover Image
By Orhan Pamuk, Ekin Oklap (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780307700292
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - October 20th, 2015

A Strangeness in My Mind: A novel (Vintage International) By Orhan Pamuk Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307744845
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - September 20th, 2016