Shafak, Elif, 1971–, Turkish novelist who writes in Turkish and English, b. Strasbourg, France. The most widely read woman novelist in Turkey, she has written nearly 20 books, most of them novels. Her first novel, Pinhan [the hidden] was published in 1997. Her most widely known novels are three she wrote in English, The Bastard of Istanbul (2007), which centers on the Armenian genocide, a taboo subject in Turkey, and led to her prosecution there; The Forty Rules of Love (2010), which examines love in light of the spiritual and mystical teachings of Shams ad-Din and Rumi; and Three Daughters of Eve (2017), which is set in Istanbul and Oxford and explores through the memories of its female protagonist contemporary tensions between secularism and religion, rich and poor, oppression and liberation, East and West. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World (2019) tells of the last moments and memories of a murdered Istanbul prostitute and of the final farewell from her friends. Shafak also has written essays and is active politically, advocating for women's and minority rights and freedom of expression. She has taught at a number of universities in Turkey, the United States, and Great Britain.
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