|Elif Shafak on politics of fiction||0||Mar 8, 2015|
Born in 1971, Elif Shafak is the author of eight novels and is Turkey's most widely read woman writer. Her work has been translated into 30 languages and she was awarded the honorary distinction of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. She divides her time between Istanbul and London. Her latest novel is Honour.
"You can't ignore a book. It needs your full attention," Turkish writer Elif Shafak told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2010. "When I had my children, I had to change the rhythm of my writing … There was a period of panic.''
Listen to Elif Shafak's reviewed on NPR In this lyrical, exuberant follow-up to her 2007 novel, , 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 , 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.