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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

by Elif Shafak

Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World Synopsis

'In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila's consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away...'

For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life - friends who are now desperately trying to find her. . .

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World Press Reviews

Shafak is the most exciting Turkish novelist to reach western readers in years - Irish Times

Sensual - Observer

Extraordinary - Guardian

Life-affirming - Stylist

A haunting masterpiece - Irish Mail on Sunday

Lush, evocative and compassionate - Mail on Sunday

Leila's complex inner life is laid bare in this touching novel, which is vaguely reminiscent of The Lovely Bones. 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

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 A rich, sensual novel... This is a novel that gives voice to the invisible, the untouchable, the abused and the damaged, weaving their painful songs into a thing of beauty. -- Francesca Segal - Financial Times

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 Vasquez Elif Shafak's extraordinary Ten Minutes, 38 Seconds in this Strange World is a work of brutal beauty and consummate tenderness, a wild shout of life from out of the lower depths of destitution and prostitution, indeed from beyond the grave itself. Every page throbs with unruly vitality, the sense- saturating colours scents and sounds of raw Istanbul, all registered with poetic sharpness. It's a book which for all its ordeals is a profoundly moving, at times lyrical, celebration of humanity's obstinate fight for life against the steepest of odds -- Simon Schama A vivid carnival of life and death, cruelty and kindness, love, politics and deep humanity. This is only possible in the hands of a consummate storyteller. Elif Shafak's lyrical command of language and narrative is breathtaking. Brilliant! -- Helena Kennedy Deeply moving - Sunday Times

Simply magnificent, a truly captivating work of immense power and beauty, on the essence of life and its end. -- Philippe Sands One of the best writers in the world today -- Hanif Kureishi Haunting, moving, beautifully written - and based by an extraordinary cast of characters who capture the diversity of modern Turkey. A masterpiece. -- Peter Frankopan -

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241983195
Publication date: 06/06/2019
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Audiobook

ISBN: 9780241293867
Publication date: 06/06/2019
Publisher: Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241293867
Publication date: 6th June 2019
Author: Elif Shafak
Publisher: Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Genres: Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Critics have acclaimed her as one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary literature in both Turkish and English. Her novels include The Bastard of Istanbul which was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages. She is married with two children, and divides her time between London and Istanbul. Her website is www.elifshafak.com.   Author photo © Muammer Yanmaz

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