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The first novel to appear in English by Nobel Prize-winning Orhan Pamuk, originally published in 1990. A young Italian scholar is captured by pirates in Italy and put up for auction at an Istanbul slave market. He is bought by a Turkish savant eager to learn about Western intellectual advances, and their relationship becomes more complex than master and slave as they trade confidences and knowledge. Then both find themselves part of the Sultan's army, and on a journey that will lead them, ultimately, to the White Castle.