Yet, it wouldn't make it to my favorite lists and Shafak for sure wouldn't make it to the authors I follow with excitement. I find her rather too obvious, an author whose writing is too much telling rather than showing. Her prose is so understandable without the slightest effort, it is digestable even for the under-average reader, which I find a bit boring. Nevertheless, when I read that her novel The Bastard of Istanbul was controversial in Turkey and the author herself was sentenced to three years of prison because of an offense towards the Turkish community, I felt there might be something worth it there.
I find her rather too obvious, an author whose writing is too much telling rather than showing. Her prose is so understandable without the slightest effort, it is digestable even for the under-average reader, which I find a bit boring. Nevertheless, when I read that her novel The Bastard of Istanbul was controversial in Turkey and the author herself was sentenced to three years of prison because of an offense towards the Turkish community, I felt there might be something worth it there.
I mean, reading a forbidden book similarly to doing all that forbidden stuff is exciting itself. It feels as if you are crossing an invisible boundary and even the simple act of reading a forbidden book might be the spice that makes your day unordinary.
The plot transcends between continents and years focusing on two families — the Kazanci in Istanbul and the Stambulyan in the US. The Kazanci family is a colorful picture of women, who bear bravely the family curse: Seven women with seven different personalities from three generations try to coexist between the old Istanbul and the new Istanbul.
Banu, the oldest sister, is a self proclaimed clairvoyant; Cevriye is a widowed and depressed school teacher; Feride is an obsessed hypochondriac, who comes up with a new sickness and a new hair color every week; and finally my personal favorite, Zeliha is the black sheep of the family.
At the age of 19th she gives birth to Asya, the bastard of Istanbul. She wears short skirts and high heels and makes a living as a tattoo artist.
Asya likes Johnny Cash, philosophy, and random sexual affairs. She smokes, drinks, and openly rebels against the absurdity of her family.
On the other side of the world lives Armanoush, trapped between the Armenians and the Turkish. Her mother later married to Mustafa, the Kazanci estranged brother and Armanoush found herself in the middle of a battlefield.
Desperately looking for her identity, she sets on a journey to Istanbul. As much as the two girls are different, Asya and Armanoush quickly form a bond, ignorant of the circumstances that actually tie them closer than they can imagine.
The two wander around the colorful streets of Istanbul, talking about politics, confrontation, the genocide, the past, and the future. However, the characters Shafak draws are a bit unconvincing. Asya and Armanoush talk more like year-olds than like two teenagers but through their dialogues Shafak brings up the issues she would like her readers to mostly think about.
The family connections in the novel are so complicated that I often found myself stopping for a while trying to figure who was whom.
I literally felt I needed a family tree to understand who came from where. Besides that, the novel is entertaining but largely predictable. As for why Shafak was sued, the novel is controversial only in the context of the Turkish extremists. The Turkish are separated: On the positive side, she does a good job bringing up a bit of magical realism which I am a huge fan of.
The djins coexist quite naturally with the Kazanci, bringing some fresh air in the rather stagnant novel.identity construction of istanbulites in elif shafak’s the bastard of istanbul thesis moh.
za’imil alivin nim english letters and language department faculty of humanities. Elif Shafak. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better. To install click the Add extension button.
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Elif Shafak skilfully weaves historical evidence into a modern day story which links five generations of women. Right up to the final pages we are kept wondering about the identity of the rapist father of the Bastard of Istanbul, and then we realise how short, but relevant, a .
Apr 20, · Full of vigorous, unforgettable female characters, The Bastard of Istanbul is a bold, powerful tale that will confirm Shafak as a rising star of international fiction. .
Born in Strasbourg, her childhood spent in Ankara, Madrid, Cologne, Amman and Istanbul and extensive travels have impacted her world view. In Elif Shafak’s own words, “I am a storyteller with a curious mind and a student of life. Sep 10, · The Bastard of Istanbul - Elif Shafak's Forbidden Book I enjoyed Elif Shafak's Forty Rules of Love as much as I would enjoy a light slightly over .