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Silent House
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2012
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From the Nobel Prize winner and acclaimed author of My Name is Red comes an unforgettable novel about a Turkish family gathering in the shadow of an impending military coup that's “threaded through with ideas about history, religion, memory, class and politics” (The New York Times Book Review). 

In a crumbling mansion in a gentrified former fishing village on the Turkish coast, the widow Fatma awaits the annual visit of her grandchildren: Faruk, a dissipated historian; his sensitive leftist sister, Nilgün; and Metin, a high schooler drawn to the fast life of the nouveaux riche. Bedridden, Fatma is attended by her faithful servant Recep, a dwarf—and her late husband’s illegitimate son. Mistress and servant share memories, and grievances, from the past. But the arrival of Recep’s cousin, Hasan, a fervent right-wing nationalist, threatens to draw the family into the political cataclysm arising from Turkey’s tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity. Written in the 1980s but never before published in English, this spellbinding novel is a stunning addition to the works of Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk.
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Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/09/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307958556
ASIN:
B007UH4JJ4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Orhan Pamuk. (2012). Silent House. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Orhan Pamuk. 2012. Silent House. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Orhan Pamuk, Silent House. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Orhan Pamuk. Silent House. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • role: Author
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      • bioText: Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. His novel My Name Is Red won the 2003 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His work has been translated into more than sixty languages.
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title
Silent House
fullDescription
From the Nobel Prize winner and acclaimed author of My Name is Red comes an unforgettable novel about a Turkish family gathering in the shadow of an impending military coup that's “threaded through with ideas about history, religion, memory, class and politics” (The New York Times Book Review). 

In a crumbling mansion in a gentrified former fishing village on the Turkish coast, the widow Fatma awaits the annual visit of her grandchildren: Faruk, a dissipated historian; his sensitive leftist sister, Nilgün; and Metin, a high schooler drawn to the fast life of the nouveaux riche. Bedridden, Fatma is attended by her faithful servant Recep, a dwarf—and her late husband’s illegitimate son. Mistress and servant share memories, and grievances, from the past. But the arrival of Recep’s cousin, Hasan, a fervent right-wing nationalist, threatens to draw the family into the political cataclysm arising from Turkey’s tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity. Written in the 1980s but never before published in English, this spellbinding novel is a stunning addition to the works of Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Francine Prose, New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Inspired and impassioned...A microcosm of a country on the verge of a coup...Pamuk has a flattering faith in his reader' intelligence...The book [is] threaded through with ideas of history, religion, memory class and politics. But it never seems didactic because the reader comes to realize that these reflections are aspects of the inner life: plausible components of the characters' psyches. I was glad to be transported to a seaside town in Turkey, to meet this odd family and their neighbors, all of whom seem to be living in several places at once: in the present and the past, in history, in everyday reality and in the simultaneously limitless and constricted worlds of their own minds...The reading experience is so very pleasurable."
      • premium: False
      • source: Michael David Lukas, San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "Luminous and stylistically inventive...energetic and exuberant...Silent House is a kind of literary time machine, allowing us to glimpse both the writer and his country at this crucial turning point...the novel brilliantly captures the disorder, nostalgia and hope of a society struggling with violence and self-definition."
      • premium: False
      • source: Marie Arana, Washington Post
      • content: "Propulsive...in this quiet unassuming way does a wrenching story unfold, until an unexpected and hair-raising turn...the author's most accessible novel to date...the work of a great engineer."
      • premium: False
      • source: Alev Adil, The Independent (UK)
      • content: "Gripping family saga...arresting and unforgettable...[Pamuk] speaks with great prescience, subtlety and sophistication. Silent House is both a highly readable fiction and an unsparing portrait of the Turkish intellectual class."
      • premium: False
      • source: Shreekant Sambrani, Business Standard (India)
      • content: "Spellbinding...luminous...rich in brooding memories of a bygone era but the experience is elevating rather than oppressive. The events and characters in this novel may belong to a particular region and time, but their angst is universal...That is a measure of the greatness of his craft, something one finds in Anton Chekov."
      • premium: False
      • source: Mark Lawson, The Guardian (UK)
      • content: "The beginnings of a great writer... Silent House illuminates the recent historical pressures, and 30 years on, the novel feels doubly prescient... A novelist prescient enough to publish [this] in 1983 proved himself fully deserving of the call from the Swedish Academy in 2006."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jason Diamond, New York Observer
      • content: "Impressive...It proves once and for all that Pamuk is truly one of the world's most versatile fiction writers, no matter the language in which he is read...Despite the specificity of the novel's setting, the characters' respective struggles are universal; they could be any family, anywhere, at any time."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Pamuk builds a multi-faceted panorama distinguished by his customary intellectual richness and breadth."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 13, 2012
        In this first English publication of an early novel by the Nobel laureate, nonagenarian widow Fatma Darvinoglu lives in the eponymous house, a derelict villa in a seaside village near Istanbul. Bitter, sharp-tongued, and irritable, she arrived there as a teenage bride and endured the ensuing decades while her husband, Selahattin, sold off her jewelry to support his writing of a 48-volume encyclopedia intended to prove to his superstitious countrymen that God does not exist and that only by worshipping science could Turkey hope to achieve Westernized civilization. Their son, Dogan, an alcoholic like his father, died at 52, leaving three now adult children who have come to Cennethisar for their annual visit with grandmother. Faruk, the eldest, is a failed historian; Nilgun, his sister, is drawn to the Communist Party; adolescent Metin is jealous of his wealthy peers who drink immoderately and do drugs. The siblings are aware that the dwarf Recep, their grandmother’s servant, is also their uncle. Recep and his crippled brother, Ismail, were the product of Selahattin’s liaison with a servant. Ismail’s son, Hasan, a high school delinquent, has joined with nationalist thugs who frighten villagers. While Pamuk deftly suggests the political strife that roiled Turkish society before the 1980 coup, this narrative never achieves the richness and depth of his later work. All but one of the eight major characters are neurotic, self-pitying, resentful, contemptuous of others—even while they yearn to assuage their loneliness—and filled with grandiose dreams of what they’ll never achieve. Pamuk uses stream-of-consciousness to convey their inchoate thoughts, and he’s most effective when chronicling Hasan’s increasing mental instability. Pamuk’s belief that “istory’s nothing but a story” adds substance to what is otherwise a dispiriting tale. Agent: Andrew Wylie.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        October 1, 2012
        Previously unpublished in English, the Turkish Nobel Laureate's second novel spins characteristic themes of history and national identity outward from a three-generational domestic scenario. This early work by Pamuk (The Museum of Innocence, 2009, etc.) is weighted toward the younger generation as it considers the complex tensions between tradition and modernism, East and West, using a collage of viewpoints, all related through blood, yet each expressive of a very different perspective. Ninety-year-old widow Fatma still lives in Cennethisar, a village that has developed into a bustling seaside resort, in the old marital home she shared with exiled doctor Selahattin, an atheist and modernist whose passion for science inspired him to do the impossible--to write a 48-volume encyclopedia. Selahattin drank himself to death, as did their son, Dogan, and as probably will Dogan's historian son, Faruk, who, with his two siblings, is visiting Fatma for the summer. The family is served by Recep, a dwarf with a crippled brother, Ismail. Both are Selahattin's bastards, born of a servant. Ismail's son, Hasan, is the spark in this diverse group, the aggrieved, impoverished nationalist whose fantasies of success arise from the furious hopelessness of his situation. Violence, both historic and immediate, class and politics further fracture the emblematic group. Using a repetitive, circular, incremental technique, Pamuk builds a multifaceted panorama distinguished by his customary intellectual richness and breadth.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2012

        In Nobel Laureate Pamuk's second novel, just available in English, the widow Fatima anticipates her grandchildren's annual summer visit to Cennethisar, now a fancy resort near Istanbul but once a fishing village where Fatima's physician husband settled to serve the poor. Even as she reminisces with ever-loyal servant Recep, Recep's nationalist cousin draws the entire family dangerously close to political crisis: the 1980 military coup. With a reading group guide.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 1, 2012
        The Turkish Nobel laureate's previous novel, The Museum of Innocence (2009), garnered considerable praise in the U.S. Now a novel published in his native land in 1983 is appearing in English for the first time. The publisher's probable hesitancy in bringing it out of storage is not surprising. Readers familiar withand fond ofthe provocative psychology and the defining social pictures presented in the author's works previously translated into English will likely face disappointment here. It is nearly certain that American readers will feel inadequate in fixing the narrative into its historical context and in understanding its political atmosphere, which Pamuk hints is about to change. Questions will remain. What exactly is the political atmosphere, and what kind of change is in the air? That said, the premisea family gathers for a summer visit in the faded seaside resort of Cennethisarbrings together a handful of characters with great potential for being interesting, foremost among them, the clan's elder, the old widow Fatima, whose life is now led mostly in her mind, and Recep, her servant, a dwarf who also happens to be the illegitimate son of her late physician husband. The narrative alternates among various characters' points of view, but what limits their full embrace by non-Turkish readers is their lack of anchorage in a readily identifiable time and place. Nevertheless, librarians should expect some demand based on the popularity of Pamuk's previous work.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from December 24, 2012
        Nobel Prize–winner Pamuk’s spirited and spellbinding second novel, previously unpublished in English, follows a Turkish family as they come together in a fishing village outside Istanbul prior to a military coup in 1980. Narrated by a talented cast of performers, including Emrhys Cooper, John Lee, Jonathan Cowley, and Juliet Mills, this memorable audio edition proves to be an engaging production that will enchant listeners with its understated performances and superb pacing. Cooper and Lee are the true standouts, delivering stellar turns that resonate long after the final chapter. However, the entire cast is solid, its members boasting spot-on voices, dialects, and characterizations. This early work from Pamuk is brought to life—and fans will not be disappointed. A Knopf hardcover.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2012

        Pamuk's passion for his homeland emanates from every page of this parable of Turkey's history of political discord, its juggling of Eastern and Western sensibilities, and the dichotomy between religious and secular society. Written years before he was awarded the Nobel Prize, this recently translated 1983 novel is a precursor to the themes of unrequited love and class warfare that haunt all of Pamuk's work. In a seaside village outside Istanbul prior to the 1980 military coup, dissipated historian Faruk, budding Communist Nilgun, and their brother, Metin, a student who dreams of going to America, arrive for summer vacation with their grandmother Fatma. Widowed for 40 years, Fatma spends most days in bed, dwelling on past grievances and imagining new ones. Her only link to the living is her caregiver, Recep, the ill-treated, illegitimate son of her long-dead husband. The novel is written with alternating points of view. Combined, they represent the disparate identities of the most important character, Turkey itself. VERDICT Finn's beautiful translation captures the moody atmosphere of a country in transition and results in an accessible read perfect for those new to Pamuk but perhaps not quite ready to tackle Snow or My Name Is Red. [See Prepub Alert, 4/16/12.]--Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib., Ft. Myers, FL

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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From the Nobel Prize winner and acclaimed author of My Name is Red comes an unforgettable novel about a Turkish family gathering in the shadow of an impending military coup that's “threaded through with ideas about history, religion, memory, class and politics” (The New York Times Book Review). 

In a crumbling mansion in a gentrified former fishing village on the Turkish coast, the widow Fatma awaits the annual visit of her grandchildren: Faruk, a dissipated historian; his sensitive leftist sister, Nilgün; and Metin, a high schooler drawn to the fast life of the nouveaux riche. Bedridden, Fatma is attended by her faithful servant Recep, a dwarf—and her late husband’s illegitimate son. Mistress and servant share memories, and grievances, from the past. But the arrival of Recep’s cousin, Hasan, a fervent right-wing nationalist, threatens to draw the family into the political cataclysm arising from...
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