Other colors : essays and a story

by Orhan Pamuk

Hardcover, 2007




New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.


"Orhan Pamuk's first book since winning the Nobel Prize, Other Colors is a collection of essays on his life, his city, his work, and the example of other writers."--Jacket.

User reviews

LibraryThing member mrminjares
This book by Orhan Pamuk was published after he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006. The title is a reference to the titles of his other books, most of which contain a color in their names. For example, The White Castle, The Black Book, and My Name is Red. Pamuk says Other Colors is a
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compilation of essays organized in such a way that they mimic the narrative flow of a novel. He includes essays on his love of books, his favorite authors such as Dostoyevsky, Turkish politics, and his relationship with his father.

While this book is one of the less satisfying of the many published by Pamuk, it reveals many sides of him as a writer. He says he always wanted to be a novelist, and so he has made himself famous through his novels. As a collection of short essays, this book reveals why he has not earned much success as an essayist. Many of these pieces are clearly writing exercises or thought pieces that Pamuk perhaps uses as warm ups to his novel writing. They provide brief and not very deep or powerful reflections on a variety of topics of interest to Pamuk. Most of these essays are forgetable.

Still, we learn much about Pamuk and we see some of his true gifts as a writer come through. He has an uncanny ability to be intimate and tender with his reader. He says he locks himself in a room ten hours a day every day. It is a lonely life, one that he questions regularly in these essays. But it is one that creates a stillness necessary for a writer to communicate one-on-one with his or her reader.

Pamuk was twenty-three when he abandoned a potential career as an architect and decided to become a novelist. It wasn't until he was about 27 that he wrote his first novel, Cevdet Bey and Sons, which is not yet translated into English. His next book, The White Castle, was published when he was thirty. This second book launched his writing career. It is sobering to learn how much time it took for Pamuk to achieve the fame he needed to convince others he could be a writer. Thirty years later, he became the second youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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LibraryThing member lrcaborn
Pamuk has inspiring observations about other writers. His short story is autobiographical and presented from both a naive and scheming viewpoint. His repeated considerations of why he writes do wear thin, but each one has a small, creatively inspirational gem within.


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