Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.
From her Q&A with Kate Kellaway at the Guardian:
You were born in Strasbourg, raised by a single mother – how did this affect you?--Marshal Zeringue
It had a huge impact. I didn’t see my father much. I met my two half-brothers in my mid-20s. I had to deal with being the other child. My father was a very good father to his sons but a very bad father to me. It took me a long time to accept that someone could succeed in many areas and fail in one. When my mother went back to college, my grandmother raised me. I called her Anne – mother in Turkish – and my own mother Abla, big sister.
And your mother became a diplomat…
This was unusual but she had studied hard, she was a linguist. She never married again. And she was able to do this because my less-educated grandmother supported her.
When did you realise you would become a novelist?
I started writing early because I was a lonely child. My life was boring, the world I created much more colourful. I’m aware of the pull of story land. Stefan Zweig writes about the urge to retreat into writing when the world is going crazy. I understand that but...[read on]