This year’s Nobel Prize for Literature has gone to the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk. The award, which comes with a cheque for just over a million euros, has been announced in Stockholm at the Swedish Academy. The 54-year-old is one of Turkey’s best-known novelists, but also a controversial social commentator.
In January, a court in Istanbul dropped criminal charges against Pamuk, who had been accused of insulting Turkish identity. This is an offence under a new penal code. In handing out the award, the Swedish Academy said: “In the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city, Pamuk has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures”.
The Nobel judges said Pamuk’s international breakthrough came with his third book, The White Castle, a historical novel about the relationship of a Venetian slave with a young scholar who buys him. Other best-selling books include My Name is Red and Snow.