Friday, June 07, 2019

Elif Shafak's ten favorite books

Elif Shafak / Elif ┼×afak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels, including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, and Three Daughters of Eve. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people who would make the world better.

Shafak is also a political scientist and an academic. She holds a degree in International Relations, a masters’ degree in Gender and Women’s Studies and a PhD in Political Science and Political Philosophy. She has taught at various universities in Turkey, the UK and the USA, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow.

At she tagged her ten desert island books. One title on the list:
Orlando, by Virginia Woolf

I was a student when I read Orlando for the first time, and I remember how for many days afterwards I walked around in a happy daze. Daring to transcend boundaries of gender, class, history, culture, geography … this is a story — Woolf called it a biography — like no other. Our hero wakes up and finds himself turned into a woman, and delightfully, this transition takes place in Istanbul — Constantinople. Orlando is a novel about transformations and journeys — from man into woman, from the West to the East, from one existence to the next and vice versa. It is a book far ahead of its time, and even today, continues to blow our minds.
Read about another entry on the list.

Orlando is among Olivia Laing's six favorite books, Gregory Woods's top ten landmarks in gay and lesbian literature, Jonathan Gibbs's top ten fictitious biographies, and Sam Mills's top ten fictional sex changes.

--Marshal Zeringue