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Orhan Pamuk is among Turkey's best-selling authors who has, relatively recently, received international recognition and acclaim. He was born in 1952 and grew up in a household in the predominantly middle-class Nisantasi area of Istanbul. An area which figures heavily in his first book Cevdet Bey ve Ogullari (Cevdet Bey and Sons), and his subsequent work The Black Book.

After studying architecture for three years at the Istanbul Technical University, he graduated from the Istanbul School of Journalism and began to write regularly in 1974. His debut novel, Cevdet Bey ve Ogullari, earned him his first award when he won the Milliyet Novel Competition in 1979. More awards followed after the book became published in 1982, with his first accolade as an internationally readable author coming in the form of the Prix de la découverte européenne in 1991 for his book Sessiz Ev (Silent House).

Further international readership came when Beyaz Kale (White Castle) was translated and published in many Western languages. The NY Times was prompt to herald a new star's birth in the East and three other works followed, including The Black Book, A New Life, and My Name is Red.

Among his work, perhaps the book that has generated the greatest fanfare and discussion between readers and critics alike is The Black Book. One would not be transgressing the memory of the great Czech by saying it reeks of the trademark ailments and devious occurrences present in Kafka's novels.

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