BookBrowse Reviews The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Bastard of Istanbul

by Elif Shafak

The Bastard of Istanbul
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2008, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A bold, powerful tale that will confirm Shafak as a rising star of international fiction

Shafak says that she did not set out to deal with big macro-political questions in The Bastard of Istanbul. Instead, her aim was quite the opposite - to "probe the simple and basic ingredients in the everyday life of Armenian and Turkish women" to find their commonalities.

"I am a novelist. When I write, I don't calculate the consequences of what I'm writing. I just surround myself with the story."

That maybe so, but The Bastard of Istanbul unleashed quite a backlash in her native Turkey, achieving the dubious honor of becoming the first fictional work to be tried under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code which prohibits "public denigration of Turkishness". Other fictional books, such as Orhan Pamuk's Snow have been threatened with Article 301* but Shafak's was the first to go to trial. If ...



Elif Shafak was born in Strasbourg, France in 1971. Her mother was a diplomat and single-mother whose first appointment was in Spain, where Shafak spent her teenage years. At the time, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) was staging attacks on Turkish citizens, particularly diplomats, across Europe; so while she was growing up "Armenian" meant only one thing to Shafak - a terrorist who wanted to kill her mother.

Faced with hatred she says she hated back. It took her years to ask the simple question: Why did the Armenians hate us?

"My ignorance was not unusual. For me in those days, and for most Turkish citizens even today, my country's history began in 1923, with the founding of the modern Turkish state. The roots of the Armenians' rage -- in the massacres, ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

Information is the currency of democracy

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.