Rooted in international politics, this spellbinding new novel from Turkish writer Pamuk examines the tension between Islamic radicalism and Western liberalism. If the author's agenda sounds intimidating, never fear: Pamuk has couched timely issues in a fast-moving plot that carries the reader into the heart of Turkey, while introducing a cast of unforgettable characters. Ka is a Turkish poet who returns to his native country after 12 years of exile in Germany. An Istanbul newspaper sends him to the village of Kars to investigate a wave of recent suicides among teenage girls of the town. Ka also wants to see his friend, Ipek, a beautiful woman he knew as a teenager. But the culture shock involved in his return is greater than Ka anticipated. The town of Kars is teeming with poor families, Kurdish separatists and Islamic fundamentalists, Ipek's sister, Kadife, among them. When a snowstorm hits the village, isolating it from the outside world, tension mounts and violence soon erupts. The local government is threatened, and Ka tries to persuade Ipek to go with him to Germany. In this multilayered narrative, Pamuk writes with great clarity about a complex clash of political ideologies, adding elements of intrigue, danger and suspense to the mix. Snow is a worthy follow-up to his acclaimed novel My Name is Red.
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