Elif Shafak

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Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. Grown up between France, Turkey, Spain, Jordan and Germany, she received a PhD in political science, taught at universities across Turkey, the UK and the US, and is an honorary fellow at St Anne’s College, Oxford. She has published novels as well as nonfiction, and her work has been translated into over fifty languages. She is also an advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, and is a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations).

Author recommends


    By Robert Macfarlane

    Recommended by: Elif Shafak
    Publish Date: 2019 Awards: 2020 Stanford Dolman Travel Book Of The Year; 2020 American Library Association Notable Book; 2019 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature; 2019 Wainwright Prize
    Exploring the depths of the Earth, in this sequel to The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (2012) Robert Macfarlane takes the reader on a journey through Greenland’s glaciers, Arctic sea-caves, and Bronze Age burial chambers to reveal a hidden…
  • Invisible Women

    By Caroline Criado Perez

    Recommended by: Elif Shafak
    Publish Date: 2019 Awards: 2019 The Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award; 2019 The Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize
    Through meticulously collected data across government policy, medical research, technology, workplaces, urban planning, and media, Caroline Criado Perez exposes the pervasive and systemic discrimination women face in their daily lives. An urgent and essential reading which sheds light on how…
  • Charles Dickens: A Life

    By Claire Tomalin

    Recommended by: Elif Shafak
    Publish Date: 2011
    This critically acclaimed biography reveals Charles Dickens as a complex and divided figure. Described as ‘by far the most humane and imaginatively sympathetic account yet for the general reader’ by Amanda Craig, this book is a must-read for every Dickens’…
  • All The Light We Cannot See

    By Anthony Doerr

    Recommended by: Elif Shafak & Miranda Cowley Heller
    Publish Date: 2014 Awards: 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
    In this powerful novel, set against the backdrop of WW2, the lives of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl who fled to Brittany with her father after the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1940, and Werner, a German orphan boy whose…
  • Family Matters

    By Rohinton Mistry

    Recommended by: Elif Shafak
    Publish Date: 2002 Awards: 2002 James Tait Black Memorial Prize; 2002 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize for Fiction; 2003 Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award
    When Nariman Vakeel, a seventy-nine-year-old Parsi widower afflicted by Parkinson’s disease and haunted by his past, finds his condition deteriorating, he is forced to move in with his daughter Roxana, her husband Yezad, and their two children. These new and…
  • East West Street

    By Philippe Sands

    Recommended by: Elif Shafak
    Publish Date: 2016 Awards: 2017 Non-fiction Book of the Year at the British Book Awards; 2016 Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
    In this moving and gripping book, Philippe Sands sets off on a quest to uncover his own family’s painful past whilst investigating the origins of international human rights at the Nuremberg trial. Prompted by an invitation to deliver a lecture…
  • The Silk Roads

    By Peter Frankopan

    Recommended by: Elif Shafak
    Publish Date: 2015
    In this gripping book about geopolitics, Frankopan explores continents and centuries to investigate the factors which influenced culture and the economy throughout history, revealing how our Eurocentric accounts have led to a narrow understanding of the world around us.