A Turkish Grandmother’s Notebook

I’ve been reading Orhan Pamuk’s fascinating book Istanbul: Memories and the City.

It’s an interesting mix of city history and personal memoir, and here’s a passage I had to share:

“My grandmother always kept with her a slim leather-bound notebook in which she wrote something every day. This notebook, in which she recorded bills, memories, meals, expenses, plans, and meteorological developments, had the strange and special air of a protocol book.
… My grandmother would sometimes read me what she’d written in her notebook…”

I’m only about a third of the way through the book and I’m already hoping that grandmother’s notebook will make another appearance!
And apropos of Istanbul, I’ll also just tease you a bit and mention that I have been reading this book because I recently went to Istanbul, where I bought 5 notebooks and snapped some photos of others. I’ll be posting about it soon!

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One Response to “A Turkish Grandmother’s Notebook”

  1. I had a Turkish grandmother. She moved from Spain when she was very small. Grandfather was French and so the household communicated in French, Spanish and Turkish. My mother speaks all of those langugage plus Italian and English. Grandmother visited us in Arizona for 6 weeks after the death of Grandfather. She carried a leather bound red notbook with gold accents everywhere she went. Intent on learning more English, she would write down unfamiliar words phonetically, then write the correct spelling, and then the definition of the word, in French. She had beautiful handwriting and I remember the vivid blue of the ink against the pages of that notebook. I would have liked to have had that notebook as a memory of her after she died.

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