The Red-haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk

The Red-haired Woman

Orhan Pamuk

What creates our path in life? Fate? Our own actions? Our relationship with our parents? Cem's apprenticeship to a well digger seems headed for tragedy under the merciless Turkish sun. A gorgeous read full of surprises and heavy with questions.

Extract

Master Mahmut broke the surface of the earth at his chosen spot. But why, after all that walking and deliberation, had he chosen this particular place? How was it different from any other? If we kept digging there with that pickax, were we sure to find water eventually? I wanted to ask him all these questions, but I knew that I couldn't. I was a child; he was neither my friend nor my father, but my master. Only I saw in him a father.

Parallels
  • The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  • Shahnameh by Ferdowsi
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Violence
Explicit sexual content