Reading Europe - Turkey - The Red-haired Woman

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0120180122

Recollections of an absent father and part-time jobs take Cem back to his mid-teens.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

With this vivid image of digging towards the centre of the earth at the heart of the story, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.

Heraclitus said that truth lies at the bottom of a well. The wells of Pamuk's Turkey are something quite sinister - here, guilt and shame lurk in the darkness, forever threatening to come spewing up into the light. The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, against the backdrop of the ever expanding 21st century Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0220180123

The countryside beyond Istanbul, 1986. The well-diggers visit a nearby town.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.
The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0320180124

Used to listening to the master's stories, Cem is surprised when he is invited to speak.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

With this vivid image of digging towards the centre of the earth at the heart of the story, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.

The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus against the backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0420180125

A visit to the travelling theatre opens a new world for the young apprentice.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.
The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0520180126

A night with the red-haired woman has energised a tired young well-digger.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.
The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0620180129

Fearing the worst, a panic-stricken Cem flees Istanbul for home in Gebze.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.

The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0720180130

Istanbul, and Cem is a modern success story, but he is drawn to myth and folklore.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.

The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0820180131

At his father's funeral, Cem is approached by a stranger.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.

The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0920180201

The red-haired woman recalls a night at the theatre thirty years ago.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.

The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Paul Hilton and Clare Higgins
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

1020180202

As the red-haired woman's son grows up, he begins to ask questions about his father.

The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul.

As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate?

Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory.

The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life.

As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, accompanied by the sultry backdrop of contemporary Istanbul.

Written by Orhan Pamuk
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Read by Clare Higgins
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.