Any review of Elif Shafak's latest novel, THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL, is sure to mention the surrounding controversy. When the book was published last year in Turkey, Shafak ended up facing a prison sentence because of what her fictional characters say about the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, a tragedy not officially recognized by the Turkish government. This drama could overshadow the book itself, but instead it should contribute to the poignancy of the story.
The titular bastard is Asya Kazanci, a young woman living in Istanbul in a house of eccentric and loving women. Asya is rebellious, even though her "aunties" a