From Publishers Weekly
Though the latest book from Nobel Prize-winning Pamuk (Istanbul, Snow) is a standard late-career essay collection, it makes clear the reasons behind the Turkish author's acclaim. Eschewing flash and flourish, Pamuk's style is plain, simple and persuasive-but therein lies its subtle power, well represented over more than 75 pieces divided into sections like "Living and Worrying" and "Politics, Europe, and Other Problems of Being Oneself." Self-reflection and cultural evolution emerge often as twin themes, as in his consideration of the Thousand and One Nights: "In those days, young Turks like me who considered themselves modern viewed the classics of eastern literature as one might a dark and impenetrable forest." These concerns lead naturally to political considerations, such as his conclusion that "the lies about the war in Iraq and... secret CIA prisons have so damaged the West's credibility in Turkey... it is more and more difficult for people like me to make the case for true western democracy in my part of the world." There's humor as well; in "Giving Up Smoking," a smoking cab driver begs Pamuk's pardon: "He was opening the window. 'No,' I said, 'keep it closed. I've given up smoking.'" Also included are musings on his own books and a short story, "To Look Out the Window." Disarmingly honest, Pamuk refuses to give in to melodrama or stylistic quirks, giving his feeling and frustration crystalline clarity and lasting weight.
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“Pamuk is that rarest of creatures, a fabulist of ideas…In Other Colors
…Pamuk gives us several of his many selves in a centrifugal gathering of memory-pieces, sketches, interviews and unexpected flights…[that] feel more like a rich and suggestive set of explorations…His books are, really celebrations of multiplicity…the mysteries they set up are always more delicious than any attempt to solve them…Yet mostly what this collection gives us…is a chance to savor one of the inimitable literary storytellers of our time…Pamuk is taking the world we thought we knew and making it fresh and alive.”
- Pico Iyer, New York Times Book Review
“He is the poet of the labyrinth of his own thoughts and conceits, of the fabulous and the gently ambiguous.”
- Colin Thubron, The New York Review
“what emerges…is a voice, part playful and part deadly, whose refracted reality a real nightingale might envy.”
- Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review
is composed of shrewdly arranged occasional pieces, fragments from journals and other miscellany, edited and at times rewritten to form a remarkably cohesive picture of a literary man…Beyond its clever charm and its wise observations Other Colors
is a plea to stand back and consider the historical and psychological causes of today’s alarming headlines.”
- Roger Kaplan, Washington Post Book World