My Name is Red is a novel by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, one of the most popular writers in the homeland, who has received many national awards.
His first novel, which brought the author success outside of Turkey was the novel The White Castle. In 1990 Pamuk received the prize of the British newspaper The Independent for this novel. In the same year, one of the writer’s most famous novels, The Black Book, was published in Turkey, instantly became a bestseller and was translated into 10 languages within a year.
My Name is Red was published 1998 and strengthened the author’s success outside his country. Orhan Pamuk started being talked all over the world, and in 2003 the writer was awarded the largest literary prize – International Dublin Literary Award (IMPAC), which brought the author 100 000 euros. All these events largely contributed to Orhan Pamuk being awarded with the Nobel Prize in 2006, which is the most prestigious award in Literature. Thus, the author became one of the most influential writers in the world.
My Name is Red tells of the events which took place in the late decades of the 16th century in Ottoman Empire. The four masters of Persian miniature were instructed to illustrate the secret book for the Sultan, so that his name and deeds would gain immortality and glory over the centuries. However, rumors circulate around the city that the book is contrary to the laws of the Muslim world, that it was made according to the principles of the Venetian atheists, and a careless witness who dares to look at the forbidden pages will inevitably go blind. After the brutal murder of one of the artists, it becomes clear that continuing to work on the order of the Sultan is mortally dangerous, and the identity of the killer can be established only by carefully looking at the intricate lines of the mysterious drawing.
The story in the book develops in captivatingly beautiful, scary and bloody city of Istanbul. One may get the impression that the city of Istanbul is the main character of the novel. The great city of stories that beckons with a sparkle of jewelry and scares away the blood of its inhabitants, spilled on the streets for a whim. The novel My Name is Red is a mixture of genres, as it is a detective story, a love affair, a historical novel, and a raid of religiosity in half with philosophy.