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Download The Bastard of Istanbul Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bastard of Istanbul, by Elif Shafak Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,905 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elif Shafak Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Populated with vibrant characters, The Bastard of Istanbul is the story of two families, one Turkish and one Armenian American, and their struggle to forge their unique identities against the backdrop of Turkey’s violent history. Filled with humor and understanding, this exuberant, dramatic novel is about memory and forgetting, about the tension between the need to examine the past and the desire to erase it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “We come to see that this need to confront the past, with all its load of error and guilt, is something that concerns not just Turks and Armenians but all of us, and that what is true between races and peoples is also true in individual lives. Throughout the novel, passing from one generation to the next, is a gold brooch in the shape of a pomegranate, a memorial to the unoffending victims and a symbol of continuity and reconciliation. It is this last word that one keeps coming back to. But there is no reconciliation without justice. Elif Shafak’s novel brings the possibility of it a step closer, and we are all in her debt for this.”

    Washington Post

  • “Worlds collide and find themselves already interwoven…there’s more going on than interfamilial melodrama, and Shafak’s ambitions do not stop with an airing of Turkey’s century-old dirty laundry…In the end, Shafak resists a tidy wrap-up. She leaves most of her characters in the lurch, abandoning them midcrisis, their dilemmas only deepened with a dose of ambiguity. But how else could she leave them? The point here—and of the ugly fuss that has greeted the book’s publication—is that the past is never finished, never neat, and never ours.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Beautifully imagined…it’s as much family history as national history that drives this vital and entertaining novel. And it’s the powerful and idiosyncratic characters who drive the family history. An, as you hear in your mind’s ear, it’s Shafak’s vibrant language that drives the characters…This wonderful new novel carried me away. And reality was different when I returned.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Shafak weaves an intricate and vibrant saga of repression and freedom, cultural clashes and convergences, pragmatism and mysticism, and crimes and retribution, subtly revealing just how inextricably entwined we all are, whatever our heritage or beliefs.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rana | 2/20/2014

    " I would have given this book three stars but I gave it an extra one just for making me learn about something (Armenian genocide, history of Turkey) that I wasn't familiar with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Natasa Tovornik | 2/11/2014

    " A great story about a family of women, all with a different story and destiny. In a family where men die young they have to find their own way. Very interesting characters and superbly written as well. Amazing twists and storytelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Leslie | 2/3/2014

    " I loved this. Not sure Emily did. I'll have to ask her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laurie D'audney | 1/30/2014

    " Novel of the tensions between Armenians and Turks that persist and affect a young girl wanting to marry. "

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About the Author
Author Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is the author of several well-known books, including the novels The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love and the memoir Black Milk. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Shafak’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She has appeared on NPR, the BBC, and at a TED conference. She lives in London and Istanbul.