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2021 Longlist

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

A moving novel on the power of friendship in our darkest times, from internationally renowned writer Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Missing Trees, a Reese’s Book Club pick.

In the pulsating moments after she has been murdered and left in a dumpster outside Istanbul, Tequila Leila enters a state of heightened awareness. Her heart has stopped beating but her brain is still active-for 10 minutes 38 seconds. While the Turkish sun rises and her friends sleep soundly nearby, she remembers her life-and the lives of others, outcasts like her.

Tequila Leila’s memories bring us back to her childhood in the provinces, a highly oppressive milieu with religion and traditions, shaped by a polygamous family with two mothers and an increasingly authoritarian father. Escaping to Istanbul, Leila makes her way into the sordid industry of sex trafficking, finding a home in the city’s historic Street of Brothels. This is a dark, violent world, but Leila is tough and open to beauty, light, and the essential bonds of friendship.

In Tequila Leila’s death, the secrets and wonders of modern Istanbul come to life, painted vividly by the captivating tales of how Leila came to know and be loved by her friends. As her epic journey to the afterlife comes to an end, it is her chosen family who brings her story to a buoyant and breathtaking conclusion.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Elif
Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into fifty languages. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne’s College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She is a member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). An advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice a TED global speaker, each time receiving a standing ovation. Shafak contributes to many major publications around the world and she has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people who would make the world better. She has judged numerous literary prizes and is chairing the Wellcome Prize 2019.

 

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into fifty languages. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne’s College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She is a member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). An advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice a TED global speaker, each time receiving a standing ovation. Shafak contributes to many major publications around the world and she has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people who would make the world better. She has judged numerous literary prizes and is chairing the Wellcome Prize 2019.

 

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Incredible, brutal book that is beautifully written. City of Cape Town Library and Information Services, South Africa

This is an extraordinary novel by a gifted writer. Shafak weaves a story around a city, Istanbul, and its women in sensual, emotive writing that draws one in. One feels incredible sadness but also awe, hope and beauty in the friendship of women. Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
13/12/2020
Country
Turkey
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
Viking

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