Our friend Anastasia Ashman writes from Turkey about novelist Elif Shafak who has embarked on a US tour to promote her latest novel, The Forty Rules of Love , in which an unhappy housewife is transformed by the poems of Rumi. Here's what Anastasia has to say:
The 39-year old feminist is one of Turkey’s most dynamic novelists. Prolific: nine books, either written in English or Turkish, or both. Award-winning: starting with her first book The Mystic (1998), which was awarded the Rumi Prize for best work of mystical literature in Turkey. Challenging: Shafak’s fiction (and her autobiographical work about post-partum depression, Black Milk) consistently plumbs marginalized communities and taboo topics, as well as mixing Eastern and Western elements in unexpected ways. Controversial: A character’s words in The Bastard of Istanbul (2006) drew prosecution in the nation’s courts for ‘insulting Turkishness’, the same charge that landed Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk in hot water. Respected: Pamuk has called her the best author to come of Turkey in the last decade. Adored: her latest book, about an unhappy housewife transformed by Mevlana Rumi’s 13th century journey of ecstatic love, sold a record-setting 450,000 copies in Turkey -- in five months.
Find the dates and times of her US readings here.
ANASTASIA ASHMAN is an Istanbul-based American writer/producer of cultural entertainment and the founder of expat+HAREM, the global niche. She is the editor of Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey.