A Hay Festival and The Pool VOTE 100 BOOKS for Women Selection
One rainy afternoon in Istanbul, a woman walks into a doctor's surgery. 'I need to have an abortion', she announces. She is nineteen years old and unmarried. What happens that afternoon will change her life.
Twenty years later, Asya Kazanci lives with her extended family in Istanbul. Due to a mysterious family curse, all the Kaznci men die in their early forties, so it is a house of women, among them Asya's beautiful, rebellious mother Zeliha, who runs a tattoo parlour; Banu, who has newly discovered herself as clairvoyant; and Feride, a hypochondriac obsessed with impending disaster. And when Asya's Armenian-American cousin Armanoush comes to stay, long hidden family secrets connected with Turkey's turbulent past begin to emerge.
'Wonderfully magical, incredible, breathtaking...will have you gasping with disbelief in the last few pages' Sunday Express
'A beautiful book, the finest I have read about Turkey' Irish Times
'Heartbreaking...the beauty of Islam pervades Shafak's book' Vogue
Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. She is known as a women's rights, minority rights and LGBT rights advocate as well as an inspirational public intellectual and speaker.
She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 16 books, 10 of which are novels. Her books have been published in 48 languages.
Shafak is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). She has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2010 by the French government.
She has been featured in and contributes to major newspapers and periodicals around the world, including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica.
Shafak holds a degree in International Relations, a masters' degree in Gender and Women's Studies and a PhD in Political Science and Political Philosophy. She has taught at various universities in Turkey, the UK and the USA, and is the 2018 Weidenfeld Visiting Professor in Comparative European Literature at Oxford.