Reviews

  • Haunting, moving, beautifully written - and based by an extraordinary cast of characters who capture the diversity of modern Turkey. A masterpiece.

    Peter Frankopan
  • One of the best writers in the world today

    Hanif Kureishi
  • Simply magnificent, a truly captivating work of immense power and beauty, on the essence of life and its end.

    Philippe Sands
  • Deeply moving

    Sunday Times
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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