My Name Is Red

My Name Is Red

Book - 2010
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Elegant Effendi, an artist hired to create a book illuminating the Sultan's triumphant life, has been killed. The man who hired him, Enishte, has also been murdered. While on a recent trip to Italy, Enishte was entranced by painting that used perspective and figurative art abundantly. He encouraged his artists to use the same methods in their construction of the Sultan's book. However, this sort of art serves as an affront to Islam and may have led to the death of Effendi and Enishte.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2010.
ISBN: 9780307593924
Branch Call Number: FIC PAMU
Characteristics: xxxix, 483 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Göknar, Erdağ M.


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Turkey (Ottoman Empire)

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Oct 01, 2020

This novel is set in 16th century Istanbul centered on a group of miniaturist painters working to create a book for the sultan. This is at a time when this art form flourished and could trace its lineage to various centers in the east and middle east. At this time, however, artists in Istanbul became acquainted with the Italian renaissance painting techniques which created controversy. The novel also references very many Islamic and middle eastern legends and historical figures. The western equivalent might be Umberto Ecco's novels. The author's technique relies on many different voices - including a gold coin - that it at times becomes confusing. Although billed as a mystery, this is less a mystery than an opportunity to recount many different stories and artistic debates.

Dec 24, 2018

If you start this book, don't let the first 20 or so pages give you the impression it is not worth persevering. It is true that getting in the story is not smooth and easy, but once you're there, it's fabulous. Besides a whodunnit and a love story, you discover a cultural, artistic, philosophical and theological world that is fascinating. True, the style is often a little heavy. However, it fits the topic: Ottoman (not Turkish) was self-consciously (personal guess) constructed as a complex and refined language (an educated person, someone who'd be familiar with the Ottoman court would not speak like a peasant). So it's fitting to have most of the characters "speak" in this sometimes-hard-to-follow style.

May 19, 2015

I don't put a lot of stock in Prize winning, bestseller lists and the like. I read the books which sound interesting and intriguing to me. For about fifteen years or so I have passed My Name is Red on bookshelves, thinking to myself, "I should read that. It sounds interesting." Then I worried whether the book was all it was cracked up to be or not. Well...It is. Written in the tone of The Arabian Nights or a Medieval epic, My Name is Red is sensitively written, with delicate sentence structure, and memorable perspectives. I HIGHLY recommend it.

RenGrrl May 02, 2011

Very interesting read! An insiders look at at life in the Turkish capital and the politics of art.


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notTom Dec 16, 2010

Nobel Prize-winning Pamuk sets this murder mystery in Istanbul during the height of the Ottoman Empire. A sultan commissions a group of artists to create an illustrated book based on his life. When the body of the lead artist appears at the bottom of a well, the clues to his demise must be found within the paintings themselves. Melded into the “whodunit” nature of this novel is an examination of 16th-century Turkish mores and customs, as well as a study of the role figurative art plays in the Islamic religion.


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Apr 07, 2008

Beauty is the eye discovering in our world what the mind already knows.


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