10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World (Hardcover)
Longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize
A moving novel on the power of friendship in our darkest times, from internationally renowned writer and speaker Elif Shafak.
In the pulsating moments after she has been murdered and left in a dumpster outside Istanbul, Tequila Leila enters a state of heightened awareness. While the Turkish sun rises above her and her friends asleep soundly nearby, she contemplates her mortal existence before eternal rest.
Tequila Leila's memories bring us back to her childhood in the provinces, a highly oppressive milieu where a loving mother is no match for a strict, unforgiving 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 they who bring her story to a buoyant and breathtaking conclusion.
About the Author
Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels, and her work has been translated into fifty languages. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. An advocate for women's rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice a TED global speaker. Shafak contributes to many major publications around the world and has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She is a member of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the 12 people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart.” www.elifshafak.com
“A heartbreaking meditation on the ways in which social forces can destroy a life. Elif Shafak can be unsparing, lyrical, political, intimate... Several novels live in this one, and all of them are moving, generous and elegantly written.” —Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of THE SOUND OF THINGS FALLING and REPUTATIONS
“Extraordinary . . . a piercing, unflinching look at the trauma women's minds and bodies are subjected to in a social system defined by patriarchal codes.” —The Guardian
“Elif Shafak brings into the written realm what so many others want to leave outside. Spend more than ten minutes and 38 seconds in this world of the estranged. Shafak makes a new home for us in words.” —Colum McCann, author of LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN
“Lyrical and often magical . . . a love-letter to Istanbul.” —The Economist
“A rich, sensual novel . . . that gives voice to the invisible, the untouchable, the abused and the damaged, weaving their painful songs into a thing of beauty.” —Financial Times
“Beneath the lush scene-setting and romantic storytelling . . . are strident calls to challenge fundamentalism and misogyny in the Middle East.” —The Times
“Deeply moving” —Sunday Times
“Expect vibrant, vivid and eye-opening descriptions of Middle Eastern life propelled by a tender storyline, all in Shafak's haunting, beautiful and considered prose.” —Vanity Fair London
“A haunting masterpiece.” —Irish Mail on Sunday
“Lush, evocative and compassionate.” —Mail on Sunday
“Haunting, moving, beautifully written-and based by an extraordinary cast of characters who capture the diversity of modern Turkey. A masterpiece.” —Peter Frankopan, author of THE NEW SILK ROADS
“[Elif Shafak is] one of the best writers in the world today.” —Hanif Kureishi
“A work of brutal beauty and consummate tenderness” —Simon Schama, author of The Story of the Jews
“Simply magnificent, a truly captivating work of immense power and beauty, on the essence of life and its end.” —Philippe Sands, author of EAST WEST STREET
“A vivid carnival of life and death, cruelty and kindness, love, politics and deep humanity.” —Helena Kennedy, author of Eve Was Shamed