Library of Congress

National Book Festival

Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and grew up in a large family similar to those that he describes in his novels "Cevdet Bey and His Sons" and "The Black Book," in the city's wealthy westernized district. As he writes in his autobiographical "Istanbul," from his childhood until the age of 22 he devoted himself largely to painting and dreamed of becoming an artist. After graduating from the secular American Robert College in Istanbul, he studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University for three years, but abandoned the course when he gave up his ambition to become an architect and artist. He went on to graduate in journalism from Istanbul University, but never worked as a journalist. At the age of 23, Pamuk decided to become a novelist and, giving up everything else, retreated into his flat and began to write. Pamuk's books have been translated into 58 languages; and eight of them have been translated from Turkish into English His new book is "The Museum of Innocence" (Knopf). In 2006 Pamuk was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

Orhan Pamuk

Photo by Spencer Platt