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About Elif Shafak
Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels. She is a bestselling author in many countries around the world and her work has been translated into 55 languages. Her latest novel
The Island of Missing Trees, shortlisted for the Costa Award, RSL Ondaatje Prize and Women’s Prize for Fiction. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and was Blackwell’s Book of the Year. The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among the 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. The Architect’s Apprentice was chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall’s inaugural book club, The Reading Room. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She also holds a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bard College.
Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. She is a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. Shafak has judged numerous literary prizes, including PEN Nabokov prize and she has chaired the Wellcome Prize.
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Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction
"A wise novel of love and grief, roots and branches, displacement and home, faith and belief. Balm for our bruised times." -David Mitchell, author of Utopia Avenue
A rich, magical new novel on belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.
Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for each other. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree is there when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, and when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns. He is a botanist looking for native species, but really, he's searching for lost love.
Years later a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. This tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited--- her only connection to her family's troubled history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world.
A moving, beautifully written, and delicately constructed story of love, division, transcendence, history, and eco-consciousness, The Island of Missing Trees is Elif Shafak's best work yet.
In this lyrical, exuberant tale, acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Missing Trees (a Reese's Book Club Pick), incarnates Rumi's timeless message of loveThe Forty Rules of Love unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz—that together explore the enduring power of Rumi's work.
Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams's search for Rumi and the dervish's role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love. She is also taken with Shams's lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi's story mirrors her own and that Zahara—like Shams—has come to set her free.
Named a Best Book of the Year by Bookpage, NPR, Washington Post, and The Economist
A moving novel on the power of friendship in our darkest times, from internationally renowned writer and speaker Elif Shafak.
In the pulsating moments after she has been murdered and left in a dumpster outside Istanbul, Tequila Leila enters a state of heightened awareness. Her heart has stopped beating but her brain is still active-for 10 minutes 38 seconds. While the Turkish sun rises and her friends sleep soundly nearby, she remembers her life-and the lives of others, outcasts like her.
Tequila Leila's memories bring us back to her childhood in the provinces, a highly oppressive milieu with religion and traditions, shaped by a polygamous family with two mothers and an increasingly authoritarian father. Escaping to Istanbul, Leila makes her way into the sordid industry of sex trafficking, finding a home in the city's historic Street of Brothels. This is a dark, violent world, but Leila is tough and open to beauty, light, and the essential bonds of friendship.
In Tequila Leila's death, the secrets and wonders of modern Istanbul come to life, painted vividly by the captivating tales of how Leila came to know and be loved by her friends. As her epic journey to the afterlife comes to an end, it is her chosen family who brings her story to a buoyant and breathtaking conclusion.
Chosen for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s “Reading Room” Book Club
In this novel, Turkey’s preeminent female writer spins an epic tale spanning nearly a century in the life of the Ottoman Empire. In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces—the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques—dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices.
A memorable story of artistic freedom, creativity, and the clash between science and fundamentalism, Shafak’s intricate novel brims with vibrant characters, intriguing adventure, and the lavish backdrop of the Ottoman court, where love and loyalty are no match for raw power.
"Zesty, imaginative . . . a Turkish version of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club." —USA Today
As an Armenian American living in San Francisco, Armanoush feels like part of her identity is missing and that she must make a journey back to the past, to Turkey, in order to start living her life. Asya is a nineteen-year-old woman living in an extended all-female household in Istanbul who loves Jonny Cash and the French existentialists. The Bastard of Istanbul tells the story of their two families--and a secret connection linking them to a violent event in the history of their homeland. Filed with humor and understanding, this exuberant, dramatic novel is about memory and forgetting, about the need to examine the past and the desire to erase it, and about Turkey itself.
The stunning, timely new novel from the acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of The Architect's Apprentice and The Bastard of Istanbul.
Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground--an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past--and a love--Peri had tried desperately to forget.
Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Over the course of the dinner, and amidst an opulence that is surely ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. Competing in Peri's mind however are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian-American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism find focus in the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity, but in unorthodox ways. As the terrorist attacks come ever closer, Peri is moved to recall the scandal that tore them all apart.
Elif Shafak is the number one bestselling novelist in her native Turkey, and her work is translated and celebrated around the world. In Three Daughters of Eve, she has given us a rich and moving story that humanizes and personalizes one of the most profound sea changes of the modern world.
Internationally bestselling Turkish author Elif Shafak’s new novel is a dramatic tale of families, love, and misunderstandings that follows the destinies of twin sisters born in a Kurdish village. While Jamila stays to become a midwife, Pembe follows her Turkish husband, Adem, to London, where they hope to make new lives for themselves and their children.
In London, they face a choice: stay loyal to the old traditions or try their best to fit in. After Adem abandons his family, Iskender, the eldest son, must step in and become the one who will not let any shame come to the family name. And when Pembe begins a chaste affair with a man named Elias, Iskender will discover that you could love someone with all your heart and yet be ready to hurt them.
Just published to great acclaim in England, Honor is a powerful, gripping exploration of guilt and innocence, loyalty and betrayal, and the trials of the immigrant, as well as the love and heartbreak that too often tear families apart.
By turns comic and tragic, Elif Shafak's The Flea Palace is an outstandingly original novel driven by an overriding sense of social justice.
Bonbon Palace was once a stately apartment block in Istanbul. Now it is a sadly dilapidated home to ten wildly different individuals and their families.
There's a womanizing, hard-drinking academic with a penchant for philosophy; a 'clean freak' and her lice-ridden daughter; a lapsed Jew in search of true love; and a charmingly naïve mistress whose shadowy past lurks in the building. When the garbage at Bonbon Palace is stolen, a mysterious sequence of events unfolds that result in a soul-searching quest for truth.
"An enchanting combination of compassion and cruelty . . . Elif Shafak is the best author to come out of Turkey in the last decade" - Orhan Pamuk
"Hyper-active and hilarious" - Independent
Elif Shafak is the acclaimed author of The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love and is the most widely read female novelist in Turkey. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is a contributor for The Telegraph, Guardian and the New York Times and her TED talk on the politics of fiction has received 500 000 viewers since July 2010. She is married with two children and divides her time between Istanbul and London.
FINALISTA DEL PREMIO BOOKER Y UNO DE LOS MEJORES LIBROS DEL AÑO SEGÚN ELLE
300.000 LECTORES, TRADUCIDA EN CINCUENTA PAÍSES Y ENTRE LOS 40 MEJORES LIBROS DE 2020 SEGÚN ESQUIRE
«Elif Shafak puede ser despiadada, lírica, política, íntima. [...] Dentro de esta novela conviven otras tantas, todas ellas conmovedoras, espléndidas y escritas con elegancia.»
Juan Gabriel Vásquez
El cerebro permanece activo unos diez minutos después de que el corazón deje de latir. Durante ese lapso, mientras el cuerpo de Leila yace en un contenedor de basura a las fueras de Estambul, el tiempo fluye y, minuto a minuto, le trae un nuevo recuerdo: la infancia con su padre y sus dos madres en una casa grande y antigua de una apacible ciudad de Turquía; los chismorreos de las mujeres cuando los hombres están en la mezquita; la huida a Estambul para escapar de los abusos y las mentiras familiares y de un matrimonio concertado; el amor hallado de manera inesperada en el burdel de Mamá Amarga... Y los cinco amigos que hace en el camino «su verdadera familia» y que, mientras agoniza, tratan desesperadamente de encontrarla.
El Jurado del Premio Booker 2019 ha dicho:
«La narrativa audaz e increíblemente original de Shafak resucita el inframundo de Estambul a través de los vívidos recuerdos de una trabajadora del sexo, Tequila Leila, cuyo cadáver yace en la basura. [...] Una obra de atrevida imaginación que empuja al lector al vertiginoso mundo de una heroína irresistible, con una terca determinación y un fiero optimismo: un personaje inolvidable cuya muerte, aun anunciada, recibimos como un golpe devastador. Valiente y enormemente cautivadora, esta novela da fe del poder de la amistad y del espíritu del ser humano.»
La crítica ha dicho...
«Una novela cercana a la muerte que celebra el sentido de la vida.»
Begoña Alonso, Elle (Ranking final: estos son los mejores libros de 2020)
«Lírica y demoledora.»
Juan Manuel Freire, El Periódico de Cataluña
«Esta novela no es buena: es buenísima. [...] Magnífica. [Shafak] es una escritora maravillosa y su libro está lleno de hallazgos lingüísticos y pirotecnias verbales.
«Un misil contra el patriarcado, contra la violencia sexual, el abuso de menores y un canto sobrecogedor a la amistad.»
Felip Vivanco, La Vanguardia
«El jurado del Booker eligió esta novela como una delas seis mejores de este año. La novela se merece sobradamente el honor. Shafak escribe con vista, valentía y compasión. Su novela es un deslumbrante retrato de una ciudad, una sociedad, una pequeña comunidad y un alma individual.»
Julia Phillips, El Cultural
«Cuando el corazón deja de latir el cerebro permaneceactivo durante algo más de 10 minutos. Ese chisporroteo final de las neuronas sirve a la autora para urdir una original variante turca del Mientras agonizo de William Faulkner.»
Agustín Sánchez Vidal, Heraldo
«Al igual que Ferrante, Shafak se sirve de la trama para contarnos mucho más que la historia de los p
After the birth of her first child in 2006, Turkish writer Elif Shafek suffered from postpartum depression that triggered a profound personal crisis. Infused with guilt, anxiety, and bewilderment about whether she could ever be a good mother, Shafak stopped writing and lost her faith in words altogether. In this elegantly written memoir, she retraces her journey from free-spirited, nomadic artist to dedicated by emotionally wrought mother. Identifying a constantly bickering harem of women who live inside of her, each with her own characteristics-the cynical intellectual, the goal-oriented go-getter, the practical-rational, the spiritual, the maternal, and the lustful-she craves harmony, or at least a unifying identity. As she intersperses her own experience with the lives of prominent authors such as Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Ayn Rand, and Zelda Fitzgerald, Shafak looks for a solution to the inherent conflict between artistic creation and responsible parenting.
With searing emotional honesty and an incisive examination of cultural mores within patriarchal societies, Shafak has rendered an important work about literature, motherhood, and spiritual well-being.
Una novela que cabalga entre lo doméstico y lo histórico y que evoca los colores, los aromas y la magia de las calles de Estambul.
De la mano de una de las autoras turcas más aclamadas internacionalmente llega esta novela sobre la historia de dos familias. Para Armanoush, recién llegada de Arizona en busca de sus raíces, Estambul es como un gran barco de ruta incierta. Acogida por la familia de su padrastro, esta joven armenia-norteamericana irá desgranando los secretos de dos familias unidas por la tragedia que separó a turcos y armenios a principios del siglo XX. Una apasionante saga familiar sobre uno de los episodios más turbios de la historia de occidente: el tantas veces negado genocidio armenio.