Pamuk returns with a historical novel that speaks to us about the present, with the force and intensity of great literature. April 1901: Dr. Bonkowski lands on the island of Mingher, a province of the Ottoman Empire, where Muslims and Orthodox Christians try to live peacefully, and where a deadly, invisible enemy lurks: the plague. Shortly after his arrival, however, Bonkowski is found murdered. Without the doctor to lead the operations to contain the contagion, the epidemic is unleashed, and with it comes tension among the population, between those who observe the quarantine and those who deny the existence of the disease. “The Nights of the Plague” by Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk is a grandiose work, shot through with echoes of Tolstoy, Manzoni, Conrad, and Camus. A historical and allegorical novel between whose lines one can read the drift of all nationalism toward the autocracy of the strong man. In which the existences of individuals open up to the relationship between fear and power, between life and general destinies, between faith and reason, between modernity and tradition.

Photo credits: Koray Şentürk

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