Part political thriller, part absurdist farce, part love story, Orhan Pamuk’s second novel to appear in an Everyman edition has a contemporary setting - a remote Turkish city where Eastern and Western values overlap and collide.
Returning to Turkey from exile in the West, the secular poet Ka is driven by curiosity to investigate a surprising wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden by the government to wear their head scarves in school. But the epicentre of the suicides, the bleak, impoverished border city of Kars, is also home to the beautiful Ipek, a friend of Ka’s youth whom he has never forgotten and whose spirited younger sister is a leader of the rebellious schoolgirls. As a fierce snowstorm descends, cutting them off from the world, violence between the military and local Islamic radicals begins to explode, and Ka finds his sympathies drawn in unexpected and dramatic directions.
“Snow is an in-depth tour of the divided, hopeful, desolate, mystifying Turkish soul. Not only an engrossing feat of tale-spinning, but essential reading for our times.”
“A major work ... conscience-ridden and carefully wrought, tonic in its scope, candour and humour ... In Turkey, to write with honest complexity about such matters as head scarves and religious belief takes courage.”