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Snow
Orhan Pamuk
Adult Fiction PAMUK

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A Turkish poet who spent 12 years as a political exile in Germany witnesses firsthand the clash between radical Islam and Western ideals in this enigmatically beautiful novel. Ka's reasons for visiting the small Turkish town of Kars are twofold: curiosity about the rash of suicides by young girls in the town and a hope to reconnect with "the beautiful Ipek," whom he knew as a youth. But Kars is a tangle of poverty-stricken families, Kurdish separatists, political Islamists (including Ipek's spirited sister Kadife) and Ka finds himself making compromises with all in a desperate play for his own happiness. Ka encounters government officials, idealistic students, leftist theater groups and the charismatic and perhaps terroristic Blue while trying to convince Ipek to return to Germany with him; each conversation pits warring ideologies against each other and against Ka's own weary melancholy. Pamuk himself becomes an important character, as he describes his attempts to piece together "what really happened" in the few days his friend Ka spent in Kars, during which snow cuts off the town from the rest of the world and a bloody coup from an unexpected source hurtles toward a startling climax. Pamuk's sometimes exhaustive conversations and descriptions create a stark picture of a too-little-known part of the world, where politics, religion and even happiness can seem alternately all-consuming and irrelevant. A detached tone and some dogmatic abstractions make for tough reading, but Ka's rediscovery of God and poetry in a desolate place makes the novel's sadness profound and moving. Agent, Andrew Wylie. (Aug.) Forecast: Pamuk's reputation-bigger outside the U.S. than in-enjoyed a boost with 2001's My Name Is Red. This timely, thoughtful and demanding book may see it grow further. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Upon returning to his home in secular Turkey, a poet named Ka discovers two things that will change his life: Ipek, the girl he loved as a child, still lives in the city of Kars, and the community has been stunned by a rash of suicides of zealously religious girls who refused to remove their head scarves while in public. With an investigator's eye, Ka seeks out information about the tragedies from all sources, eventually leading to the man at the eye of the storm-"Blue," a charismatic Islamite who will not let the message that these girls carried be silenced. While in Kars, the normally reticent Ka dares to approach "happiness"; where once he suffered terrible writer's block, his poems now flow effortlessly, and his new-found love appears to love him back, but the figure of Blue and the deep waters in which Ka has immersed himself threaten his promising future. Like Pamuk's previous My Name Is Red, this story is thick with detail concerning the country's background; it does take some time to introduce all the characters. Once everyone is in place, however, the novel picks up and ultimately is a worthwhile read for those interested in a closer look at the hot topics of religion, its devout followers, and what arises from such passions. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/04.]-Marc Kloszewski, Indiana Free Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Kerim Alakusoglu
Male
Age: 40s
Exile
Returning to Turkey from political exile in Germany.
Poet



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