Iyer on Pamuk

What a delightful surprise: The amazing Pico Iyer reviews Orhan Pamuk’s new collection of essays for the New York Times. Here’s a brief excerpt:

“Other Colors” is too eagerly inclusive to make up the single-pointed, honed narrative that its author promises. Like the maximalist “Black Book” or “My Name Is Red,” it is more a fireworks display than a rounded sculpture (it’s no surprise that a favorite Pamuk character is the “encyclopedist ”). Yet what emerges powerfully, and often movingly, from it is Pamuk’s faith in writing as a “consolation” and refuge, “our only defense against life’s cruelties.” When he titles one major section in the book “My Books Are My Life,” he seems to be speaking both for the way that he has put almost all his adult life into his work (sitting in his room 10 hours every day and barely leaving Istanbul until he was 31 ), and for the fact that his shrine is his library of 12,000 books (in a culture that “views the nonreader as the norm”).

You can read the entire article here.