Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and her work has been translated into more than fifty languages. Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the voices of women, minorities, and the culturally displaced. Her writing addresses themes such as cultural clashes, immigrant experiences, and the challenges of being an individual in an increasingly complex world. She is known for her engaging prose and her ability to discuss profound philosophical and social issues with eloquence and wit.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Forty Rules of Love

    This novel intertwines two parallel narratives, one set in the 13th century and one in the modern day. The contemporary story follows a discontented American housewife who, while working as a reader for a literary agency, comes across a novel about the 13th-century poet Rumi and his spiritual mentor, Shams of Tabriz. As she delves into their story, she uncovers Shams' forty rules of love and begins to question her own life and relationships. The historical narrative, on the other hand, explores the transformative friendship between Rumi and Shams, and how their bond revolutionized Rumi's poetry and outlook on life.

  2. 2. The Bastard of Istanbul

    "The Bastard of Istanbul" is a novel that tells the story of two families, one Turkish and one Armenian American. It explores the deep, intricate history between the two nations through the eyes of the characters, while also tackling themes of identity, memory, and the past. The narrative unfolds through the perspectives of the women in both families, who carry the burden of their ancestors' secrets, and a young man haunted by the ghost of a long-dead Armenian. The novel delves into the complexities of love, family, and the lasting effects of the Armenian genocide on its descendants.