I was compelled to read something by Orhan Pamuk after he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006. I decided to start with My Name Is Red (1998). It is a historical literary thriller about murders among late 16th century miniaturists who decorate books commissioned by pashas and sultans. First one miniaturist, Elegant Effendi is murdered then the leader of the artist collective, Enishte, that is creating a special book in the Frankish (Venetian style of life-like painting) for the sultan. However, it is also the love story between the beautiful widow Sheruke (and daughter of Enishte) and Enishte’s top clerk, Black. They must overcome several obstacles before they can marry and their future happiness lies in solving the murders, especially that of Enishite. The novel is written in a leisurely 18th century style from the point of view of several different characters throughout 59 Chapters. These include the main characters listed above but also include a variety of minor characters and others that are inventive and novel: Ch. 1 “I Am A Corpse” / *Ch. 3 “I Am A Dog” / Ch. 10 “I Am A Tree” / Ch. 19 “I Am A Gold Coin” / Ch. 24 “I Am Death” / Ch. 31 “I Am Red” / Ch. 35 “I Am A Horse” / Ch. 47 “I, Satan” / Ch. 50 “We Two Dervishes” / Ch. 54 “I Am Woman.” I particularly thought the sections form the point of view of the gold coin, the dog, the horse, and Satan were impressive and entertaining. The novel is rife with digressions from the main narrative stories. These digressions related to history, religion (the Koan is referred to often), art, parables, and allegories throughout the novel. In addition, the novel reflects analysis of conflict between the east and the west, art and religion, the sacred and the profane among the digressions. It seems as though it might be a possible allegory of contemporary censorship of the arts in Turkey as seen in the repressive preacher Ezurumis who finds coffeehouses to be profane as much as the storytellers and artists who frequent them. It is an epic and powerful novel.