Saturday, February 18, 2017

Elif Shafak

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?

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]
--Marshal Zeringue