Anne Colamosca

Anne Colamosca is a former staff writer at Business Week and has written for many national magazines and newspapers.

Posts By This Author

A Gentle Life

by Anne Colamosca 10-30-2015
A Strangeness in My Mind, by Orhan Pamuk. Knopf.

WHILE OTHER Turkish writers choose to live outside the country, Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk—except for short periods—still lives in Istanbul, Turkey, in the building where he was raised. It is not exactly a safe, secure life. He has already faced charges for making anti-Turkish remarks regarding the long-denied mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He fled the country for more than a year until charges were dropped (due in part to pressure from high- profile writers that included Gabriel García Márquez). And since then, numerous other writers and journalists have been arrested by the increasingly authoritarian government.

Pamuk’s newest and ninth novel, A Strangeness in My Mind, took him six years to write and release, as he has struggled against conservative forces who call him a “Western stooge.” Like Istanbul: Memories and the City, a memoir by Pamuk, A Strangeness in My Mind is a double portrait of the main character, Mevlut Karataş, and the city of Istanbul. It is a postmodern fairy tale, a mesmerizing odyssey, a coming-of-age urban fable.

Mevlut is a street vendor who sells a fermented wheat drink, boza, which became popular in the days of the Ottoman Empire. Through Mevlut’s prism we become acquainted with a city of 14 million—up an astounding 12 million people since Pamuk was born in 1952. Pamuk has described Mevlut “as a man of immense imagination ... he sees and feels things in the streets that no one else does.” He is a quietly observant Muslim, modest, shy, and with his own inner sense of holiness and of “strangeness.” Like Pamuk’s own character in Istanbul, Mevlut is a lonely dreamer, living outside of the mainstream, caught up in his own imaginary world, often being judged harshly by those around him.

An Ambiguous Political Prophet

by Anne Colamosca 08-05-2014

The Kennan Diaries. W. W. Norton & Company.

Brothers in Faith and Defiance

by Anne Colamosca 12-12-2013

No Ordinary Men: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State. New York Review Books.

The Party of Ayn Rand's Discontent

by Anne Colamosca 07-01-2012

The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, by Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson. Oxford University Press. Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul, by Gary Weiss. St. Martin's Press.

Our National Predicament

by Anne Colamosca 06-01-2009
Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country, by William Greider. Rodale Books.