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I blog about anything that interests me - my local area, things I've seen or heard on the news, politics and human rights, gardening, arts and crafts, poetry, photographs and general advice.

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Wednesday 16 November 2011

Snow - by Orhan Pamuk

This book is about a poet, Ka, who is also an investigative journalist. He is stranded in a snowbound small town for an eventful few days to learn about the mysterious suicides of young women who have been obliged under the laws of Secular Turkey to remove their veils. The book is poetic, dreamy, atmospheric, exciting, political, and very informative about the ideological cross-currents in modern Turkey.

I was captivated right from the start by the sheer poetry and competence of the writing, which shone through the sensitive translation by Maureen Feely.

There is a love story interwoven with a tale of political unrest, and an exploration of the contrasting attitudes of secular society in Turkey and Muslim fundamentalists, culminating in violent action.

The viewpoints of the characters are revealed sympathetically and non-judgmentally, giving an insight into the problems of the warring factions in modern Turkey, which, under the auspices of Ataturk, became a secular state in the 1920's.

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