Istanbul: Memories and the City

This edition of Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely, is a deluxe, updated version of the original published in 2005. Packed with more than 400 black-and-white photographs and drawings, it is a bittersweet, melancholic ode to the city's glorious past, when it was known as Constantinople, the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Istanbul is no longer the capital but it is still the economic, cultural and historical center of Turkey, an enticing blend of East and West, straddling the Bosphorus strait, which separates Europe and Asia.

Dense and fascinating, Istanbul is an emotional and multi-layered history of the city and the author's family. Pamuk (The Red-Haired Woman) wistfully sees himself in Istanbul's chaotic streets, colorful markets, neglected gardens, decrepit palaces and intricately decorated mosques, in the "accidental grace" of the city. With intimate storytelling and stark photography, Pamuk evokes the lost grandeur and magical energy of the city, its rich past and its complicated present. --Shahina Piyarali, writer and reviewer

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