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The Red-Haired Woman


From the Nobel Prize winner and bestselling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them. 

On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a well digger and his young apprentice—a boy fleeing the confines of his middle class home—are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck meter by meter, they develop a filial bond neither has known before. But when the boy catches the eye of a stunning red-haired woman who seems as fascinated by him as he is by her, the events that ensue change the young man’s life forever and haunt him for the next thirty years. A tale of family and romance, of youth and old age, of tradition and modernity, The Red-Haired Woman is a beguiling mystery from one of the great storytellers of our time.

“A parable about present-day Turkey. . . . It blends the close observation of details with the broad brushstrokes usually associated with myth-making and fables.” —The Guardian

“Pamuk traces the disastrous effects of a Turkish teenager’s brief encounter with a married actress, elaborating on his fiction’s familiar themes: the tensions between East and West, traditional habits and modern life, the secular and the sacred.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The Red-Haired Woman drapes Turkey’s political situation in the language of myth, suggesting that the ancient pairs of Oedipus and Laius and Sohrab and Rostam may have company in the present.” —The New Yorker
“Engaging and deftly told. . . . Pamuk’s postmodern puzzles are meticulous as ever.” —Bookforum

“Beautiful. . . . Pamuk masterfully contrasts East with West, tradition with modernity, the power of fables with the inevitability of realism.” —Booklist (starred review)


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