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The White Castle

1998 Vintage Edition

The White Castle is a novel by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. First published in 1985 in Turkish. An English translation (ISBN 0-375-70161-3) by Victoria Holbrook was published in 1990.

The story takes place in 17th century Istanbul. Told in the first person, it is about an Italian scholar sailing from Venice to Naples who is taken prisoner by the Ottoman Empire. He becomes the slave of a scholar known as Hoja; a man about his own age and with whom he shares a strong physical resemblance. The slave is told to instruct his master in Western science and technology, from medicine to astronomy.

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