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Elif Shafak

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Elif Shafak is the most famous female author in Turkey. She has written literary fiction in both English and Turkish that explores topics such as religion, femininity, nationalism, family structures, and even the Armenian Genocide while telling her tales in the most beautiful prose. She is releasing a new book this year and I am very excited to read that and the other books she has written in the past. 

Forty Rules of Love, The: A Novel of Rumi

Listen to Elif Shafak's "The Forty Rules of Love" reviewed on NPR In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her 2007 novel, "The Bastard of Istanbul," acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz that together incarnate the poet's timeless message of love. Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on "Sweet Blasphemy," a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams's search for Rumi and the dervish's role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love. She is also taken with Shams's lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi's story mirrors her own and that Zahara like Shams has come to set her free."

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The Bastard of Istanbul

One day a 19-year old and unmarried girl has an abortion. Twenty years later, Asya Kazanci lives with her extended family in Istanbul. Due to a mysterious family curse all the men die by age 41, so it is a house of women. But when Asya's Armenian-American cousin comes to stay, long-hidden family secrets and Turkey's turbulent past begin to emerge.

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The Architect's Apprentice

When Jahan travels to 16th-century Istanbul as a stowaway carrying the gift of a white elephant for the sultan, little does he know the journey on which he is about to embark. As he settles into life in Istanbul, Jahan's fortunes are shaped by chance encounters. In the palace gardens he meets Mihrimah, the beautiful and mischievous princess, and loses his heart in an instant. Later he catches the eye of Grand Architect Sinan, who chooses Jahan as his apprentice and changes the young boy's destiny for ever. Full of magic, colour and societal upheaval in the architectural renaissance of Turkey, this is the sweeping tale of plagues, wars, forbidden romance and the simple love between a boy and his elephant.

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Three Daughters of Eve

Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground - an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past - and a love - Peri had tried desperately to forget.The photograph takes Peri back to Oxford University, as an eighteen year old sent abroad for the first time. To her dazzling, rebellious Professor and his life-changing course on God. To her home with her two best friends, Shirin and Mona, and their arguments about Islam and femininity. And finally, to the scandal that tore them all apart.

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