Elif Shafak

Turkish novelist, author “The Bastard of Istanbul”

Elif Shafak is Turkey's most-read woman writer and an award-winning novelist. She writes in both English and Turkish, and has published 13 books, nine of which are novels, including: The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, Honour and her nonfiction memoir Black Milk (by Penguin/Viking). Her books have been translated into more than forty languages.

Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the voices of women, minorities, subcultures, immigrants and global souls. Defying clichés and transcending boundaries her works draws on different cultures and cities, and reflects a strong interest in history, philosophy, culture, mysticism, Sufism and gender equality.

Shafak is also a political commentator. She has written for several international daily & weekly publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times, Die Zeit, La Repubblica and The Independent.

She is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on The Role of Arts in Society and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations).

Honours and awards include: International Rising Talent, 2009; Ambassador of Culture Action Europe Campaign, 2010; Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters; Longlisted for the Orange Prize (2008); longlisted for MAN Asian Prize (2012); shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize; longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin awards (2012). Last year she sat on the 2013 judging panel for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and this year on the judging panel of Sunday Times Short Story Award.

She lives in London with her two children.

She has over one and a half million followers on twitter: @elif_safak

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