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Snow ( Kar) is a novel by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. It was published in Turkish in 2002 and in English (translated by Maureen Freely) in 2004. The story encapsulates many of the political and cultural tensions of modern Turkey and successfully combines humor, social commentary, mysticism, and a deep sympathy with its characters. Kar is the word for Snow, but the main character also abbreviates his name to Ka (his initials) with the novel set in the eastern Turkish city of Kars. An opening (and recurring) theme concerns reasons behind a suicide epidemic among teenage girls (which actually took place in the city of Batman ).