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Elif Shafak (born October 25, 1971) is a Turkish-British novelist, essayist, academic, public speaker and women's rights activist.
- It is because of identity politics – we are, sadly, becoming more tribal. The expectation seems to be that a writer from each tribe must tell the story of that tribe. I’m Turkish but also many other things. For me, imagination is a desire to transcend boundaries. When we write, we can be multiple.
- On being expected to just write stories about sad Muslims in “Elif Shafak: ‘When women are divided it is the male status quo that benefits’” in The Guardian (2017 Feb 5)
- Many women are asking: why do some women choose to cover their heads? We have to understand this and other questions. This is one of the biggest challenges for feminism today. What is worrying is that when women are divided into categories it is the status quo – the patriarchy – that benefits.…
- On having a female character wear a veil out of protest in “Elif Shafak: ‘When women are divided it is the male status quo that benefits’” in The Guardian (2017 Feb 5)
- I learned to pay attention to the readers and not to the madness…Because to be a writer in Turkey is a bit like being kissed on one cheek and slapped on the other.
- On focusing on her readership in “Elif Shafak: ‘I thought the British were calm about politics. Not any longer’” in The Guardian (2019 Sep 16)
- I have met lots of women who have grown up in Turkey who cannot bring themselves to swear in Turkish. But in English they use the F-word all the time. Writing is like that for me.
- On comparing writing to the freedoms that Turkish women have found in another language in “Elif Shafak: ‘I thought the British were calm about politics. Not any longer’” in The Guardian (2019 Sep 16)