It’s official. Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. As the Lit Saloon had noted, Pamuk had fallen somewhat out of favor with the oddsmakers leading up to the announcement, though he has been considered a likely winner for years. Pamuk is perhaps best known in recent years for being accused by Turkish courts of insulting “Turkishness” based on comments he made in interviews. Those charges were later dropped, but not until after his case became a cause celeb for free speech around the world.
Pamuk’s most popular novels are probably My Name is Red and Snow. His most recently translated book is Istanbul, a portrait of his home city. Istanbul, of course, figures prominently into many of Pamuk’s books. As the Nobel Foundation put it, he is a writer “who, in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city, has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.”