In Turkey, award-winning novelist Elif Shafak is a mega-star, the bestselling author of nine acclaimed books (seven of which are novels), and the most widely-read female author in the country. Writing in both Turkish and English, Shafak’s work has been translated into twenty languages.
In the US, however, Shafak is probably best known for the controversy surrounding her 2007 novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, a brave and ambitious work for which she was indicted and prosecuted (and ultimately acquitted) under Article 301 by the Turkish government. Pregnant at the time, Shafak (the first fiction writer to be prosecuted under the law) became more of a symbol to us, a reminder of the precious freedoms we sometimes take for granted — but somehow her work was overlooked in the process.
That’s why the LA Books Examiner is pleased to announce the release of Shafak’s newest novel, The Forty Rules of Love. An instant bestseller in Turkey, the book sold 150,000 copies in the first month. More importantly, this mesmerizing and lyrical love story, more accessible to American readers, is a great opportunity to learn more about the important work of this vibrant, intelligent writer and passionate champion of multiculturalism and spirituality.
The Forty Rules of Love is a modern love story between a bored Jewish-American housewife/literary agent named Ella Rubenstein and the charming and mystical Aziz Zahara, a novelist in Holland, whose relationship seems to mirror Rubenstein’s first assignment: a manuscript that describes the 3-year relationship between mystic Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz. What follows is a testament to the transformative power of love and the ancient philosophy of Sufism that link hundreds of years of history with the forty rules of love.
On Wednesday, March 3 at 7 p.m., Elif Shafak will be at Diesel Books in Brentwood where she will present and sign The Forty Rules of Love.
DIESEL, A Bookstore Brentwood
225 26th Street, Suite 33
Santa Monica, California 90402
You can learn more about Elif Shafak at her official website.
I recently had the great opportunity to interview Elif Shafak. Please take a few more minutes to read the revealing interview at LA Books Examiner.