The Red-Haired Woman (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The tenth novel from Turkey’s most famous living author, this is the story of a well digger and his apprentice looking for water on the dusty outskirts of a small town. The boy, whose absent father has inspired a sharp interest in Oedipus, becomes infatuated with a beautiful woman he encounters on his trips into town. These obsessions drive a wedge between him and his master, and when the summer job is abruptly cut short the boy returns home with a guilt that lasts him years. This fable of East meeting West, tradition meeting modernity, and father meeting son, is perfect for these times, and will stay with you long after finishing. -Justin

— From Fall Booknotes 2017


From the Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them.

On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck meter by meter, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before--not the poor middle-aged bachelor nor the middle-class boy whose father disappeared after being arrested for politically subversive activities. The pair will come to depend on each other and exchange stories reflecting disparate views of the world. But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion. The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, catches his eye and seems as fascinated by him as he is by her. The young man's wildest dream will be realized, but, when in his distraction a horrible accident befalls the well digger, the boy will flee, returning to Istanbul. Only years later will he discover whether he was in fact responsible for his master's death and who the redheaded enchantress was.

A beguiling mystery tale of family and romance, of east and west, tradition and modernity, by one of the great storytellers of our time.

Translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap.

About the Author

ORHAN PAMUK won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. His novel My Name Is Red won the 2003 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His work has been translated into more than sixty languages.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780451494429
ISBN-10: 0451494423
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017
Pages: 272
Language: English