Reading between the lines: author Orhan Pamuk to tour the UK

Nobel prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk will be giving a series of talks in Britain starting on 15 September at the Royal Festival Hall, with several other dates across the UK. The tour is inspired by his latest book The Red-Haired Woman and his home city of Istanbul.

Pamuk made his writing debut with Darkness and Light (Karanlık ve Işık) in 1979 and has won many awards throughout his career including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.The globally renowned Turkish novelist’s books have been translated into over sixty languages, with Istanbul: Memories and the City, Museum of Innocence, and My Name Is Red among his best-sellers.

His latest novel The Red-Haired Woman is written in the tradition of the French conte philosophique, a literary genre where the author creates a philosophical tale critiquing aspects of a society such as its morals, politics, and religion using the artifice of a fictional story. The book is again set in Istanbul, with Pamuk exploring a multitude of ideas: fathers and sons, state and freedom, authoritarianism and individuality, and reading and seeing.

The story revolves around an investigation into a murder which took place thirty years ago near Istanbul. Pamuk feeds into his fictional tale two popular myths from the East and West: Ferdowsi’s tale of Rostam and Sohrab and Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex. The demonic voice and imagery of a ‘red-haired woman’ also runs throughout the novel.

Pamuk’s UK talks will be immersive events, combining imagery and extracts from his new book, as he reflects on the philosophical subjects raised in The Red-Haired Woman. He will also be chronicling the life of a city in which civilisations continue to collide, drawing on pictures from his Museum of Innocence and the newly-published visual edition of his classic memoir, Istanbul.

After the Royal Festival Hall, Pamuk’s next stops will be the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 17 September and Cheltenham Festival on 19 September. Tickets are available for all three talks.

Royal Festival Hall Event details

Title: Orhan Pamuk In Conversation

Date & time: 15 Sep 2017, 7.30 pm

Venue address:  Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX

Admission: tickets are priced between £15 – £20, + b.f. for non-members

Info and tickets: for more information and to book tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website or call 0844 875 0073 to book tickets.


Main photo: Orhan Pamuk. Photo ©  Hakan Ezilmez / Yapı Kredi Culture, Arts and Publication