Ferzan Özpetek’s Istanbul
babelmed - 12/11/2013
Billed as semi-autobiographical, the 160-page book published by Libri Mondadori recounts the story of the time the director decided to stay in İstanbul for a month following a short visit to the city. Integrating the past and the present, the novel also includes other intertwined stories set on the Bosporus.
The director, who has been residing in Italy for more than 30 years, announced that the book will be published in Turkey at the end of January by Can Yayınları under the title “İstanbul Kırmızısı.” The filmmaker said he had decided to write the novel two-and-a-half years ago, adding that Libri Mondadori had been insisting for 10 years that he write a book.
The director's memories of his mother were his primary inspiration for the book, and he was also considering making a film related to those memories at the time. The front cover of the book features a photo of Özpetek's mother.
The name of the book comes from the color of the nail polish Özpetek's mother wanted him to get for her, according to the director. “… but there are lots of reds in the book. The reader will find many reds in the novel. While I was writing it, there were the Gezi Park events [in Turkey] and there was a woman who wore a red dress.”
“In addition, the sky I saw from my home in İstanbul was a color that had both blue and red. In fact, we always imagine İstanbul [with the color] blue. I always like it when that red is mingled in the sky.”
Noting that he was not concerned about any negative criticism the book might receive, the director said he also plans to make a film based on the book in the future.