Orhan Pamuk


Orhan Pamuk

Photo: U. Montan

Orhan Pamuk
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006

Born: 7 June 1952, Istanbul, Turkey

Residence at the time of the award: Turkey

Prize motivation: “who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures”

Language: Turkish

Prize share: 1/1


Orhan Pamuk grew up in an affluent, secular family in Istanbul . He began studies in architecture, but abandoned his education to become a writer. Orhan Pamuk has been faithful to his hometown, although he periodically has taught at American universities. Pamuk was charged in 2005 with having insulted the Turkish nation’s honor, but the indictment was later dismissed.


Orhan Pamuk made his debut with the novel Cevdet Bey and His Sons in 1982. His international breakthrough came in the 1990s and was firmly established with My Name Is Red, which was published in 2000. Pamuk’s novels are characterized by the search for identity in the borderland between Western and Eastern values, an attempt to understand differences and similarities and an ambivalent yearning for both modern and old traditions.

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