Elif Shafak’s novel ’10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World’ (Turkey)

Shafak, I have heard at JBW and have really intended to get around to reading. She sounds creative, original and thought provoking. Many thanks for reviewing!!

Imogen is Reading and Watching the World: On Books, Film, Art & More


This is a bit of a throwback post, as some of it was first posted by me in 2019, and was in fact my fifth ever review on the blog. I’m re-posting with some additional discussion of publication prospects in the West for Turkish authors, as part of my month of Turkish cultural appreciation.

Translator from the Turkish Nicholas Glastonbury, writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books in May 2021, noted that “In various conversations with translators, agents, and colleagues, publishers often articulate that they have informal quotas for writers beyond Europe (e.g., ‘We already have a Turkish author’)”. Elif Shafak of course is “the” Turkish female writer read most widely in the UK and other Western nations, fairly or not.

Shafak is living effectively in exile from her homeland: by writing about controversial topics, such as the Armenian genocide, she…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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