The Forty Rules of Love
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
The Architect's Apprentice is a dazzling and intricate tale from Elif Shafak, bestselling author of The Bastard of Istanbul.'There were six of us: the master, the apprentices and the white elephant. We built everything together...'Sixteenth century Istanbul: a stowaway arrives in the city bearing an extraordinary gift for the Sultan. The boy is utterly alone in a foreign land, with no worldly possessions to his name except Chota, a rare white elephant destined for the palace menagerie.So begins an epic adventure that will see young Jahan rise from lowly origins to the highest ranks of the Sultan's court. Along the way he will meet deceitful courtiers and false friends, gypsies, animal tamers, and the beautiful, mischievous Princess Mihrimah. He will journey on Chota's back to the furthest corners of the Sultan's kingdom and back again. And one day he will catch the eye of the royal architect, Sinan, a chance encounter destined to change Jahan's fortunes forever.Filled with all the colour of the Ottoman Empire, when Istanbul was the teeming centre of civilisation, The Architect's Apprentice is a magical, sweeping tale of one boy and his elephant caught up in a world of wonder and danger.'A gorgeous picture of a city teeming with secrets, intrigue and romance' The Times'Shafak's most ambitious novel yet her best - generous and imaginative' Independent 'Exuberant, epic and comic, fantastical and realistic . . . like all good stories it conveys deeper meanings about human experience' Financial Times'Fascinating. A vigorous evocation of the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power' Sunday Times'Intricate, multi-layered, resplendent, vividly evoked, beautifully written' Observer'Sumptuous, absorbing, moving' Independent on Sunday
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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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