My Name is Red
A work of intense beauty, Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red opens a window into the reign of Ottoman Sultan Murat III, inviting us to experience the tension between East and West from a breathlessly urgent perspective.
Intelligent, witty and stylish this novel transports the reader to a world both rich and strange. Like the miniature paintings which are at the heart of the book, My Name is Red is intricate and complex.
A murder mystery in which nature and art mirror one another, it is clear once the reader reaches the last page that red is the colour of ambiguity. Timeless and timely, this byzantine mystery explores an earlier world that remains deeply influential even today. Pamuk’s writing is as elegant and multi-faceted as the story he narrates.
My Name is Red entices its readers with an amazing inventiveness. It is a rare tour de force of literary imagination and philosophical speculation.
In Istanbul, in the late 1590s, the Sultan secretly commissions a great book: a celebration of his life and his empire, to be illuminated by the best artists of the day – in the European manner. At a time of violent fundamentalism, however, this is a dangerous proposition. Any work of representational art is an affront to Islam. So for their own safety, the illustrious circle of artists is not allowed to know for whom they are working. But when one of the miniaturists goes missing and is feared murdered, their Master has to seek outside help. Did the dead painter fall victim to professional rivalry, romantic jealousy or religious terror? With the Sultan demanding an answer within three days, perhaps a clue lies somewhere in the half-finished pictures themselves…
My Name is Red is a murder mystery but also a meditation on love and artistic devotion.