Through the eyes of two young women, (one Turkish, one Armenian-American) Shafak explores some of the most vexing questions of our time. Are we responsible for the atrocities committed by our ancestors? What actions can the current generation take to heal the wounds of the past? Despite the deep themes, it's an enjoyable book full of energetic, fun characters.
A "vivid and entertaining" (Chicago Tribune) tale about the tangled history of two families, from the author of The Forty Rules of Love and The Architect's Apprentice"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.
About the Author
Elif Shafak is an award-winning, bestselling novelist; a champion of women's rights and freedom of expression; and the most widely read female novelist in Turkey. Her books have been translated into more than forty languages. Her novels include The Flea Palace, The Saint of Incipient Insanities, The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, and Honor, and she is also the author of a memoir, Black Milk: On the Conflicting Demands of Writing, Creativity, and Motherhood. An active political commentator, columnist, and public speaker, she lives in London and Istanbul with her family. Her website is www.elifshafak.com.
"Zesty, imaginative . . . A Turkish version of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club." -USA Today
"Shafak's writing is seductive. . . . The Bastard of Istanbul portrays family as more than merely a function of genetics and fate, folding together history and fiction, the personal and the political into a thing of beauty." -Elle
"[This] saucy, witty, dramatic, and affecting tale in the spirit of novels by Amy Tan, Julia Alvarez, and Bharati Mukherjee should prove irresistible to readers. . . . A grandly emphatic and spellbinding story." -New York Newsday (cover)
"Beautifully imagined . . . this wonderful new novel carried me away. And reality was different when I returned." -Chicago Tribune