Orhan Pamuk, born on June 7, 1952, grew up in a bourgeois family in Istanbul. He studied architecture and journalism, before turning to writing. Today he is the most prominent contemporary Turkish writer. His works have been translated into all the major languages.
Pamuk achieved international recognition with the novels The White Castle, The Black Book, and New Life. For My Name is Red, the artist novel/murder mystery set in the 16th century, he won the lucrative International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award as well as many other international awards. Pamuk’s novel Snow tells the story of Ka, a poet who travels to a snowy, provincial Anatolian city, experiences the revolt of an actor, discovers love, and writes a cycle of poems in the form of a crystal of snow. This book was highly praised by the critics and was named the best foreign book of 2004 by The New York Times. In 2005 Pamuk received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. In addition, he received the Ricarda Huch Prize and the Prix Médicis étranger.
His most recent book Istanbul: Memories and the City was published in English in 2005 and in German in 2006. In this book the author attempts to fathom out the secrets in his own family and leads us to the lost paradise of the legendary city of Istanbul. He describes the enchanted villas and the gardens gone wild, the waterways of the Bosporus and the Golden Horn, and the melancholy lanes of the old part of the city. Istanbul is a portrait of the legendary city at the interface between East and West and at the same time a self-portrait of the author as a young man.
In 2006 Pamuk received the Nobel Prize in literature.