Publication Date: October 9, 2012
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Never before published in English, Orhan Pamuk's second novel is the story of a Turkish family gathering in the shadow of the impending military coup of 1980.
In an old mansion in Cennethisar, a former fishing village near Istanbul, a widow, Fatma, awaits the annual summer visit of her grandchildren. She has lived in the village for decades, ever since her husband, an idealistic young doctor, ran afoul of the sultan's grand vizier and arrived to serve the poor fishermen. Now mostly bedridden, she is attended by her constant servant Recep, a dwarf--and the doctor's illegitimate son. Despite mutual dependency, there is no love lost between mistress and servant, who have very different recollections--and grievances--from the early years, before Cennethisar grew into a high-class resort surrounding the family house, now in shambles.
Though eagerly anticipated, Fatma's grandchildren bring little consolation. The eldest, Faruk, a dissipated historian, wallows in alcohol as he laments his inability to tell the story of the past from the kaleidoscopic pieces he finds in the local archive; his sensitive leftist sister, NilgUn, has yet to discover the real-life consequences of highminded politics; and Metin, a high school nerd, tries to keep up with the lifestyle of his spoiled society schoolmates while he fantasizes about going to America--an unaffordable dream unless he can persuade his grandmother to tear down her house.
But it is Recep's nephew Hasan, a high school dropout, lately fallen in with right-wing nationalists, who will draw the visiting family into the growing political cataclysm issuing from Turkey's tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity.
By turns deeply moving, hilarious, and terrifying, "Silent House" pulses with the special energy of a great writer's early work even as it offers beguiling evidence of the mature genius for which Orhan Pamuk would later be celebrated the world over.
Robert Finn graduated from the University of Chicago with an A.B. in biological sciences and intended to pursue a career as a research neuroscientist. After several years in graduate school, in the Department of Psychobiology at the University of California, Irvine, he realized that he preferred writing about science to actually doing it. Robert left with an M.S. degree to pursue a career as a science writer. For a number of years, he worked full-time at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, doing science writing for Caltech's research magazine and then for the news media, explaining scientific advances. Since 1992, Robert has been a full-time freelance writer. He has written hundreds of articles for dozens of publications, including Discover, Men's Fitness, the Los Angeles Times, and The Scientist, where he is a contributing editor. Although he has written about practically all areas of science, he specializes in biomedicine and in science policy. He estimates that he has interviewed close to 1,000 scientists, physicians, and other experts during his career. Robert has been fascinated with the drug development process and clinical trials since college. Several years ago he worked for a contract research organization, writing chapters for highly technical books intended for scientists interested in clinical trials. Cancer Clinical Trials is Robert's first book. He is now working on a book on organ transplants.
The Marvel and Other Short Stories is a collected anthology of six short stories written by the winners of the Austin Macauley World Book Day short story competition.