Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952 and grew up in a large family similar to those which he describes in his novels Cevdet Bey and His Sons and The Black Book, in the wealthy westernized district of Nisantasi. As he writes in his autobiographical book Istanbul, from his childhood until the age of 22 he devoted himself largely to painting and dreamed of becoming an artist. After graduating from the secular American Robert College in Istanbul, he studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University for three years, but abandoned the course when he gave up his ambition to become an architect and artist. He went on to graduate in journalism from Istanbul University, but never worked as a journalist. At the age of 23, Pamuk decided to become a novelist, and giving up everything else retreated into his flat and began to write.
Orhan Pamuk is the author of many books including My Name Is Red, Snow, The Museum of Innocence, The White Castle, and The Red-Haired Woman.
Orhan Pamuk's books have sold over 13 million books in 63 languages, including Georgian, Malayan, Czech, Danish, Japanese, Catalan, as well as English, German and French. Pamuk has been awarded The Peace Prize in 2005, considered the most prestigious award in Germany in the field of culture. In 2005, Pamuk was honored with the Richarda Huck Prize, awarded every three years since 1978 to personalities who "think independently and act bravely." In the same year, he was named among world's 100 intellectuals by Prospect magazine. In 2006, TIME magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential persons of the world. Pamuk is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and holds an honorary doctorate from Tilburg University. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences. He received the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the second youngest person to receive the award in its history.