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The Red-Haired Woman

The Red-Haired Woman

Author(s): Orhan Pamuk

Location(s): Istanbul (Constantinople)

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Modern

From the Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them.

On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating meter by meter, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before -not the poor middle-aged bachelor nor the middle-class boy whose father disappeared after being arrested for politically subversive activities. The pair will come to depend on each other and exchange stories reflecting disparate views of the world.

But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion. The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, catches his eye and seems as fascinated by him as he is by her. The young man’s wildest dream will be realized, but, when in his distraction a horrible accident befalls the well digger, the boy will flee, returning to Istanbul. Only years later will he discover whether he was in fact responsible for his master’s death and who the redheaded enchantress was.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021