The Bastard of Istanbul

The Bastard of Istanbul

3.78 (20,106 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Longlisted for the 2008 Orange Fiction Prize, Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul is a tale of an extraordinary family curse and clashing cultural identities in the mystical and mysterious city of Istanbul. One rainy afternoon in Istanbul, a woman walks into a doctor's surgery. 'I need to have an abortion', she announces. She is nineteen years old and unmarried. What happens that afternoon will change her life. Twenty years later, Asya Kazanci lives with her extended family in Istanbul. Due to a mysterious family curse, all the Kaznci men die in their early forties, so it is a house of women, among them Asya's beautiful, rebellious mother Zeliha, who runs a tattoo parlour; Banu, who has newly discovered herself as clairvoyant; and Feride, a hypochondriac obsessed with impending disaster. And when Asya's Armenian-American cousin Armanoush comes to stay, long hidden family secrets connected with Turkey's turbulent past begin to emerge. "Wonderfully magical, incredible, breathtaking...will have you gasping with disbelief in the last few pages." (Sunday Express). "A beautiful book, the finest I have read about Turkey." (Irish Times). "Heartbreaking...the beauty of Islam pervades Shafak's book. " (Vogue).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 255g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141031697
  • 9780141031699
  • 34,665

About Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is the acclaimed author of nine novels including The Bastard of Istanbul and Honour, and is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her work has been translated into over forty languages and she regularly contributes to publications including The New York Times, Guardian and Time magazine. Elif has been longlisted for the Orange Prize, the Baileys Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in London and can be found at www.elifshafak.com.show more

Review quote

An astonishingly rich and lively story ... handled with an enchantingly light touch' Kirkus Reviews A brave and passionate novel Paul Theroux Tremendous exuberance ... I do like a writer with a purpose Margaret Forster An astonishingly rich and lively story ... handled with an enchantingly light touch -- (starred review) Kirkus Overflows with a kitchen sink's worth of zany characters ... an entertaining and insightful ensemble novel that posits the universality of family, culture and coincidence -- (starred review) Publishers Weeklyshow more

Rating details

20,106 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 26% (5,138)
4 39% (7,899)
3 25% (5,115)
2 7% (1,465)
1 2% (489)
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