Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence was a new find. This is Pamuk's first novel after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.
The translation from the Turkish by Maureen Freely is easy to read, flows smoothly, and I became engrossed in the first half of the book by a love story that became a story of obsession. I'm now bogged down, however, on page 340 of 532 pages.
Afer loving and leaving a distant poor relative, the beautiful Fusun, and becoming engaged to a high society Turkish woman, the main character Kemal feels shame and guilt. But he also cannot control his need for Fusun and pursues her, scouring the streets of Istanbul to find her after she disappears.
I'm at this point hoping the novel will pick up after these few pages that has me tired of Kemal's obsession. I want the novel to move along faster, but I think that Pamuk has a hidden agenda in this book - comments on Turkish society, the conflict between East and West, the old and the new.
The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata. Published in 1962, the novel was listed as one of three cited by the committee which awarded Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968.
The novel is about Chieko, a young woman living in Kyoto, the old capital of Japan, who discovers at age 20 that she is adopted and was a foundling abandoned by her biological parents.
It's a slim book, only 162 pages long! I hope to finish both books though, and write longer reviews!