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Istanbul

A ‘Red-Haired Woman’ Turns Lives Upside Down in Pamuk’s New Book

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I really enjoyed this short but dense book, The Red-Haired Woman written by Turkish Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk. In the 1980s, a teenage, fatherless boy is an apprentice to Master Mahmut, a well digger. They dig for water in the hot sun, and tell stories to pass the time. As time goes on, they develop a tight relationship and grow to rely on each other as co-workers and as father and son. However, everything is turned upside-down when, one evening, the boy observes a beautiful red-haired woman twice his age and daydreams about her to get through the difficult days of work. She is an actress in a traveling theater production and he becomes overwhelmed with a desire to…

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Elliot Ackerman Has Endless Inspiration for ‘Dark At the Crossing’

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Here is an author whose fiction cannot be separated from his life, or, if you indulge me, whose novels are based on his life. Once a marine, with an impressive five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Elliot Ackerman is now a journalist based in Istanbul, from where he has been covering the Syrian Civil War since 2013. Dark at the Crossing, Ackerman’s sophomore novel, after his much-heralded debut novel, Green on Blue, like its predecessor, deals with characters trapped in the middle of a brutal conflict. The conflict here is not just the obvious Syrian debacle, but also the one of a failed marriage. Ackerman comments on the genesis of the novel as an insight he had while…

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