Longlisted for the 2008 Orange Fiction Prize, Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul is a tale of an extraordinary family curse and clashing cultural identities in the mystical and mysterious city of Istanbul. 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).
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Elif Shafak is the acclaimed author of nine novels including The Bastard of Istanbul and Honour, and is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her work has been translated into over forty languages and she regularly contributes to publications including The New York Times, Guardian and Time magazine. Elif has been longlisted for the Orange Prize, the Baileys Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in London and can be found at www.elifshafak.com.From AudioFile:
Turkish author Elif Shafak has written a novel that gives Western listeners historical perspective and insight into the Turkish/Armenian conflicts of modern-day Turkey. Asya Kazanci, the 19-year-old Turkish bastard of the title, is the third generation of a house of women; Kazanci men have short life spans. Armanoush, an Armenian-American relative, shows up at their home on a quest to trace her Armenian heritage. Laural Merlington has the skills to bring this complex, intriguing story to life. She serves as narrator and guide, pronouncing unfamiliar Turkish and Armenian names with ease and helping listeners follow the colorful threads of a story as complex as a Middle-Eastern tapestry. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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