My Name is Red
2003 Winner

My Name is Red

Translated from the Turkish by Erdağ M. Göknar
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

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.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Orhan
Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk is the author of seven novels and a screenplay and the recipient of major Turkish and international literary awards. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Istanbul.

 

Orhan Pamuk is the author of seven novels and a screenplay and the recipient of major Turkish and international literary awards. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Istanbul.

 

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Erdag
M. Göknar

Erdağ Göknar is a Turkish-American scholar, literary translator and poet. He is Associate Professor of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University and Director of the Duke University Middle East Studies Center.

Göknar is best known for his award-winning translation of Orhan Pamuk’s Ottoman historical novel, My Name is Red (Knopf 2001; Everyman’s Library 2010), which marked Pamuk’s emergence as an author of world literature, contributing to his selection as Nobel laureate in 2006. John Updike commented on the translation in The New Yorker: “Translating from the Turkish, a non-Indo-European language with a grammar that puts the verb at the end of even the longest sentence, isn’t a task for everybody; Erdağ Göknar deserves praise for the cool, smooth English in which he has rendered Pamuk’s finespun sentences, passionate art appreciations, slyly pedantic debates, eerie urban scenes … and exhaustive inventories.” The best-selling novel was awarded the 2003 International Dublin Literary Award, a 100,000 Euro prize that acknowledges both translator and author, and was reissued as part of the Everyman’s Library Contemporary Classics in 2010.

Göknar’s translation of Atiq Rahimi’s Earth and Ashes (Harcourt) from Dari was shortlisted for the IMPAC Literary Award in 2004 and reissued by Other Press in 2010. In 2008 Göknar translated modernist Turkish author Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s iconic novel of Istanbul A Mind at Peace (Archipelago, 2008/2011), which was awarded a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The translation was presented to President Barack Obama by the Turkish government during a state visit in 2009.

Göknar’s critical articles have appeared in journals such as South Atlantic QuarterlyNovel: A Forum on Fiction, and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies.

In 2013, Göknar published a work of literary and cultural criticism entitled Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel (Routledge), which argues that productive tension between literary tropes of din (Turkish Islam) and devlet (state secularism) informs Pamuk’s work and marks its currency as world literature.

His collection of poetry, Nomadologies (Turtle Point Press), appeared in 2017 and is a poetics of Turkish-American diaspora, addressing themes of cultural dislocation.

Göknar is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowship awards.

Erdağ Göknar is a Turkish-American scholar, literary translator and poet. He is Associate Professor of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University and Director of the Duke University Middle East Studies Center.

Göknar is best known for his award-winning translation of Orhan Pamuk’s Ottoman historical novel, My Name is Red (Knopf 2001; Everyman’s Library 2010), which marked Pamuk’s emergence as an author of world literature, contributing to his selection as Nobel laureate in 2006. John Updike commented on the translation in The New Yorker: “Translating from the Turkish, a non-Indo-European language with a grammar that puts the verb at the end of even the longest sentence, isn’t a task for everybody; Erdağ Göknar deserves praise for the cool, smooth English in which he has rendered Pamuk’s finespun sentences, passionate art appreciations, slyly pedantic debates, eerie urban scenes … and exhaustive inventories.” The best-selling novel was awarded the 2003 International Dublin Literary Award, a 100,000 Euro prize that acknowledges both translator and author, and was reissued as part of the Everyman’s Library Contemporary Classics in 2010.

Göknar’s translation of Atiq Rahimi’s Earth and Ashes (Harcourt) from Dari was shortlisted for the IMPAC Literary Award in 2004 and reissued by Other Press in 2010. In 2008 Göknar translated modernist Turkish author Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s iconic novel of Istanbul A Mind at Peace (Archipelago, 2008/2011), which was awarded a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The translation was presented to President Barack Obama by the Turkish government during a state visit in 2009.

Göknar’s critical articles have appeared in journals such as South Atlantic QuarterlyNovel: A Forum on Fiction, and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies.

In 2013, Göknar published a work of literary and cultural criticism entitled Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel (Routledge), which argues that productive tension between literary tropes of din (Turkish Islam) and devlet (state secularism) informs Pamuk’s work and marks its currency as world literature.

His collection of poetry, Nomadologies (Turtle Point Press), appeared in 2017 and is a poetics of Turkish-American diaspora, addressing themes of cultural dislocation.

Göknar is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowship awards.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/01/1989
Country
Turkey
Original Language
Turkish
Author
Publisher
Faber and Faber
Translator
Erdag M. Göknar
Translation
Translated from the Turkish by Erdağ M. Göknar

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