Elif Shafak is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her books include the novels THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL and THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE, and the memoir BLACK MILK. She lives in London and Istanbul.
In 1540, 12-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces, dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices.
Internationally bestselling Turkish author Elif Shafak's new novel is a dramatic tale of families, love and misunderstandings that follows the destinies of twin sisters born in a Kurdish village. While Jamila stays to become a midwife, Pembe follows her Turkish husband, Adem, to London, where they hope to make new lives for themselves and their children. In London, they face a choice: stay loyal to the old traditions or try their best to fit in.
The Bastard of Istanbul is the story of two families, one Turkish and one Armenian American, and their struggle to forge their unique identities against the backdrop of Turkey's violent history. This exuberant, dramatic novel is about memory and forgetting, about the tension between the need to examine the past and the desire to erase it.