Anger at a ‘liberal elite’ and an author in exile: Orhan Pamuk’s Snow is eerily prescient

The future haunts this 2004 novel, told by a mysterious and playful narrator called Orhan

Snow opens with a man riding a bus to a city called Kars in a snowstorm. We are given a few quick details about the bus and the weather, are told “our traveller” is wearing a “thick charcoal coat” – and then, only three paragraphs in, the narrative is interrupted. “We should note straight away,” we are told, “that this soft, downy beauty of a coat would cause him shame and disquiet during the days he was to spend in Kars …”

As the snow falls slowly and silently outside the bus window, we watch the traveller slip into a reverie and then sleep. This “lull” allows the narrator to step in again “to whisper a few autobiographical details” about the sleeping man, Ka. “I don’t wish to deceive you,” the narrator says. “I’m an ...