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Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk
Istanbul is part memoir and part homage to the home city of Orhan Pamuk (author of Snow and My Name Is Red). Istanbul sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, East and West, Christianity and Islam, and once was the center of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. This has created not just a mix of cultures and a rich history, but perhaps also a confusion about identity, and a city whose populace isn't sure where their sympathies lie with their feet in multiple cultures. Against this backdrop, Pamuk also tells the story of his boyhood in a large, squabbling family and his discovery of Turkish writers and artists and how they influenced his life. Istanbul has received positive reviews with The Observer saying, "Orhan Pamuk has remained faithful to his opulent muse. This quietly instructive and enchanting elegy to a redeemed childhood and to Istanbul itself will bring the world to his feet. It should be read, and reread, simply for joy."