One of the best-known examples of racism is the “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” scenario where parents are scandalized about their child marrying someone of a different race. Pew has done some good work on this and found that only 23% of conservatives and 1% (!) of liberals admit they would be upset in this situation. But Pew also asked how parents would feel about their child marrying someone of a different political party . Now 30% of conservatives and 23% of liberals would get upset. Average them out, and you go from 12% upsetness rate for race to 27% upsetness rate for party – more than double. Yeah, people do lie to pollsters, but a picture is starting to come together here.
Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. As if placing an invisibility cloak on, I would quietly sink into the blue armchair, discreetly watching peoples’ behavior and interactions with one another. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges. People-watching not only helped me to become more aware of those around me, was also as an opportunity to explore undiscovered parts of myself.
This is a profound work with deep roots. Far from being a mere "historical novel", it has unforgettable narrative drive that unites past and present, as well as the high art with popular appeal that has made Pamuk into Turkey's greatest writer. Here the love of Husrev for Shirin lives again as he sees her bathing by moonlight; the sound of the lute players who accompany Hafiz's poems echo on the page. And there is also the love of Black for his widowed cousin Shekure, and the poignancy of Shekure's love for her children and murdered uncle.