I’ve now heard two interviews with Elif Shafak, the Turkish novelist who was taken to court by right wing factions in Turkey for having mentioned the Armenian genocide in her fiction writing. I have not yet read her latest novel, Bastard of Istanbul. Even though the American reviews of the book have been mixed, I am so compelled by her as a persona I have to read her work. She speaks with such intelligence and vision, and I had to stop what I was doing to listen carefully without distraction. She is soft spoken and yet strong, with no bitterness towards those who want her silenced or even destroyed.
When asked by an interviewer in the Boston Globe if she feels at home in Turkey after all that has happened, here is her answer:
My home is my writing. For a long time, my only continuity came frm my writing. There is a metaphor in the Koran about the tree called tuba. Some nationalist critics in Turkey have said I have no roots. I say I have roots like the tuba tree. According to the Koran, it has roots in the air.
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