Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels. She is a bestselling author in many countries around the world and her work has been translated into 55 languages. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and was Blackwell’s Book of the Year. The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among the 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. The Architect’s Apprentice was chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall’s inaugural book club, The Reading Room. 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 also holds a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bard College. Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. She was a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. She has judged numerous literary prizes, including PEN Nabokov prize and she has chaired the Wellcome Prize. Recently Shafak was awarded the Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize for her contribution to 'the renewal of the art of storytelling.' www.elifshafak.com
Hot Fiction
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk explores the strange and sometimes monstrous nature of womanhood through the opposing figures of mother and daughter. Dreamlike and utterly compulsive, this is a delirious fairy tale of feminine potency, a story both modern and timeless. In Three Daughters of Eve, celebrated author Elif Shafak takes us from Istanbul to Oxford University and home again, tracing the relationship between childhood friends Peri, Shirin and Mona...
Belonging: The Story of the Jews
Simon Schama’s Belonging is alive with energy, character and colour. Written in his inimitable style, this is a magnificent cultural history. It spans centuries and continents, from the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492 to the brink of the 20th century, telling the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers, but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice, a boxer in Georgian England, a general in Ming China and an opera composer in 19th Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the sta...
The Dance of Faith and Doubt
Turkish-British writer Elif Shafak is an awarded novelist, a public intellectual and an outspoken activist for women’s rights and LGBT rights. Alice Shalvi, scholar, educator, women’s rights activist, seeker of justice and proponent of peace, is one of Israel’s most admired figures. These two iconic women have much in common. Together, Elif and Alice discussed their lives, their work and their hopes with Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand. Sponsored by ...
Are we Witnessing the Death of Democracy?
Tolerance, equality, democracy, free speech, a free press, separation of church and state, progress: these and other values of the Enlightenment have guided the West for over 300 years. But with trends such as the rise of populism and nationalism in the West, the ascent of China in the East, and the failure of the Arab Spring, many are asking: what if the Enlightenment was just a blip? What if we are simply reverting to ‘norm’ of human history and, if so, what can we do about it? ...
A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism
The journalist and New York Times-bestselling author Adam Gopnik offers a stirring defence of liberalism against the dogmatisms of our time. Taking us from Montaigne to Mill, and from Middlemarch to the civil rights movement, he shows us why liberalism is one of the great moral adventures in human history – and why, in an age of autocracy, our lives may depend on its continuation. A Thousand Small Sanities is a manifesto rooted in the lives of the peop...
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World
Dubbed ‘one of the best writers in the world today’ by author Hanif Kureishi, novelist Elif Shafak has produced a work of great power and beauty. Sex worker Leila is dying, her body abandoned in a rubbish dump. In the last ten minutes 38 seconds of her life she recollects precious memories: spiced goat stew; bubbling vats of lemon and sugar; the cardamom coffee she shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each fading memory evokes her bittersweet life. Elif d...
The Ratline: On the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive
In partnership with The London Library and Kings Place, Philippe Sands, award-winning author of the bestselling East West Street, discusses his remarkable new book, in conversation with Elif Shafak, streaming live from Kings Place. The Ratline is the story of Otto von Wächter who, as the Nazi Governor of Galicia, presided over a territory in which hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed. Indicted for ‘mass murder...
How to Stay Sane
Award-winning novelist, TED speaker and activist Elif Shafak returns to Jewish Book Week with her concise and urgent call for conscious optimism in the age of division. After 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World was shortlisted for both the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Booker Prize, she turns to non-fiction with this pocket-sized, must-read book, asking how we can keep hold of our optimism. She will be in conversation with journalist and broadcaster Mark Lawson. Click...
Bernard-Henri Lévy & Elif Shafak: Misery, Hope and the Humanitarian Crisis
In-hall tickets are priced at £18.50 At-home streaming tickets can be booked for £12.50 by following this link Two of the world’s most respected thinkers and speakers come together for the first time, live in London and streaming wherever you are. Bernard-Henri Lévy returns to Jewish Book Week ahead of the publication The Will to Se...
Online Streaming Pass – Sunday 3rd October
This pass gives you online access to six of our October events for half the price of the individual tickets. These events will be available to watch live or for seven days after the initial broadcast. Events included in the pass: Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy featuring Anne Sebba and Clare Mulley Power Players: Ivor Crewe & Anthony Seldon Billy Wilder: ...