The Museum of Innocence

Publisher: Vintage Canada
A sweeping, emotionally charged novel of the nature of romantic attachment and the strange allure of collecting — this is Orhan Pamuk’s greatest achievement.

It is Istanbul in 1975. Kemal is a rich and engaged man when he by chance encounters a long-lost relation, Fusun, a young shopgirl whose beauty stirs all the passion denied him in a society where sex outside marriage is taboo.

Fusun ends their liaison when she learns of Kemal’s engagement. But Kemal cannot forget her: for nine years he tries to change her mind, meanwhile stealing from her an odd assortment of personal items, which he collects and cherishes — a “museum of innocence” that he puts on display to tell the heartbreaking story of a love that shaped a life.

From the Hardcover edition.


The Happiest Moment of My Life

It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn't know it. Had I known, had I cherished this gift, would everything have turned out differently? Yes, if I had recognized this instant of perfect happiness, I would have held it fast and never let...
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1. How do modern European culture and Turkish tradition affect the attitudes and actions of the novel’s characters? Are the tensions between both societies reconciled or accommodated?

2. On page 37, Kemal states that his parents were not religious yet they retained many religious customs and traditions. What...

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A New York Times Notable Book

"In so many ways, a stunningly original work...granular and panoramic, satirical and yet grounded in reality. This is a twisted love story, engrossing and sensual in its own right. But Pamuk being Pamuk, it is so much more than that." San Francisco Chronicle

"Sprawling, beautiful, frantic, and, in the end, painfully honest.... The ever-crafty Pamuk manages to leave an artful imprint of his hero, kleptomania and all, on your psyche." The Georgia Straight

"Lit from within by humanity like a Rembrandt painting, this is an audacious, sweeping and timeless love story." Winnipeg Free Press

"In sum, The Museum of Innocence is a deeply human and humane story. Spellbindingly told, it is resounding confirmation that Orhan Pamuk is one of the great novelists of his generation. With this book, he literally puts love into our hands." The Washington Post