Friday, June 23, 2006

Elif Shafak, Writer

Gert's Belgian newspaper had an interview with Elif Shafak , a Turkish writer who was born in France and spent her teenage years in Spain before returning to Turkey. She's an interesting woman, with five novels, the most recent written in English.

I went searching for more on her and discovered this essay which gives you a taste of her mind.

One image that is utterly difficult to put into words when writing in Turkey and in Turkish is the image of the threshold. A zone that belongs to neither "here" nor "there", neither "inside" nor "outside", neither "East" nor "West"… a space of ambiguity and in-betweendom is the most difficult to describe for a writer.

She ends her essay with something that I found quite beautiful ...
One can be multicultural, multilingual and yes, multifaith.
Writing fiction necessitates thresholds. Literature thrives upon the desire to transcend, to move far beyond our boundaries – be it in terms of national, ethnic, religious or gender identities. The ability to transform, to be as flexible and fluid as water, to step onto the thresholds…

2 comments:

Lotus Reads said...

Was delighted to see a post on Elif Shafak! I hadn't heard of her until very recently. Apparently her books deal with highly taboo subjects which have understandably caused much controversy in Turkey. I might want to pick up one of her books just to see what the fuss is all about.

I did like what she said about thresholds and literature. Beautifully expressed.

woman wandering said...

She seems interesting ... I have this massive list of books to buy as soon as ... mmm yes, I wonder if the Belgian government would consider compensating me in income lost while in process by giving me a few hundred euro for books>