Istanbul, according to Mr. Pamuk, is more a state of mind than a place. The book is both a memoir and a meditation on growing up in a place that was the glorious center of a vast and powerful empire and finding parallels between its current reduced state and his family's fall from grace and wealth. He focuses much on "huzun", a state of melancholy unique to Istanbul. This is the Istanbul of the 60's and 70's--very different from the city of today but it's a view of a time and place that can only be revisited through memory. Well written, interesting and enriched by many interesting pictures.
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