Turkey’s best-known writer, the Nobel Prize-winning Orhan Pamuk, glories in his city of Istanbul, which in his lifetime has grown from two to fifteen million people. Despite political controversy which nearly forced him into exile, he continues to live in the city which feeds his novels. They evoke the lost world of his own eccentric family, explore Turkey’s rich Ottoman past and engage with its teeming troubled present.
Poised between east and west, it is at once modern and traditional, secular and religious. An obsessive, outspoken and engaging man, Pamuk paces through the backstreets of Istanbul, showing Alan Yentob the places which have inspired his work — the Ottoman palace recreated in his best-selling murder mystery My Name Is Red, the burgeoning building sites and high rises which are surprising setting for his recent books, and his extraordinary Museum of Innocence — a novel and real museum in one.
‘While this functions well as an autobiographical profile and assessment of his literary achievements, it also does something far harder and more impressive in capturing something of the essence of its subject[…] one of the most rewarding instalments of Imagine for a while’ – Daily Telegraph
‘Pamuk, always genial, retains the air of a barely domesticated tiger: playful, but keeping something dark and unknowable in reserve…
to watch him striding through his native Istanbul being greeted with affection mingled with awe by the ordinary man in the street, is to be reminded of the power of the unfettered imagination in dangerous times’ – Financial Times.
Producer/director – Jill Nicholls
Camera Daniel Meyers
Editor Allen Charlton
Series editor Imagine Alan Yentob
Production company Storyvault
Executive producer Anne Elletson