Thursday, October 19, 2006

Subject of First Dr. Kaung's Salon Awarded Nobel

Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, accused in 2005 of "insulting Turkishness," was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, worth about $1.5m., on Oct 12, 2006 (article on the writer by Joy Stocke in Wild River Review).

According to Wikipedia, in December 2005, eight world renowned writers -- Jose Saramango, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gunter Grass, Umberto Ecco, Carlos Fuentes, Juan Goytisolo, John Updike and Mario Vargas Llosa issued a joint statement supporting Pamuk.

The Turkish Justice Ministry dropped the criminal charges in January.

Typically, the Nobel selection committee picks the winner from approximately 350 nominations.

I am so happy and proud to note that the first session I did in my Dr. Kaung's Salon at Kefa Cafe in MD was on Orhan Pamuk. A woman in black walked in and told us she had read every single one of Pamuk's books. Another salon attendee had a son working in Istanbul. Two Turkish students showed up and animatedly started defending the Turkish government's point of view, while their friend, an emigre engineer, looked on smiling and saying nothing.
I have read only two of Pamuk's novels -- "My Name is Red" and "Snow." I think them both exquisitely excellent.

—Kyi May Kaung