Elif Shafak

Turkish novelist and non-fiction writer

View PDF version


Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. She is also a political commentator and an inspirational public speaker. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 15 books, 10 of which are novels, including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love. Her books have been published in 47 languages. She is published by Penguin in the UK and represented by Curtis Brown globally. 

Shafak is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). She has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2010 by the French government. She has been featured in major newspapers and periodicals around the world, including the Financial Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica. Shafak has taught at various universities in Turkey, UK and USA. She holds a degree in International Relations, a masters degree in Gender and Women’s Studies and a PhD in Political Science. She is known as a women’s rights, minority rights and LGBT rights advocate. 

As a public speaker Shafak is represented by The London Speaker Bureau and Chartwell Speakers and Penguin Speakers Bureau. Shafak has been longlisted for the Orange Prize, MAN Asian Prize;  the Baileys Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize. She sat on the judging panel for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2013); Sunday Times Short Story Award (2014, 2015), 10th Women of the Future Awards (2015); FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Awards (2015, 2016); Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (2016) and Man Booker International Prize (2017).

She lives in London and can be found at www.elifshafak.com and on Twitter at @Elif_Safak.

Current Publishers


Publishers Worldwide

See Current Publishers

This is Shafak's most ambitious novel yet, and it is her best - told with a generous humanity that will surely realign attitudes both to the imaginative possibilities of fiction and to the constructed reality of the world around us.

James Runcie
The Independent on The Architect's Apprentice

More on The Architect's Apprentice

A novel that crosses the bound of time, culture and belief.

Jessamyn Ayers
I|AM Modern on The Forty Rules of Love

More on The Forty Rules of Love


See all Videos






  • RT @busrasanay: Tekrar merhaba arkadaşlar. Diyarbakır’dan bir okul listesi paylaşıyorum. İhtiyaçları da aşağıdaki listede yazıyor. Bir mont…

    RT @CBGBooks: TEDx curator Chris Anderson has named @Elif_Safak's talk 'The Revolutionary Power of Diverse Thought' in his top 10 for 2017:…

    RT @womensmarchlon: Very excited that the amazing suffragettes will be joining our #TimesUp rally in London on January 21, the anniversary…

The characters in The Bastard of Istanbul are so alive they leap off the page to sit beside you on the couch. What women!... This is the rare family saga that understands the value of both modernity and tradition.

Susan Isaacs
on The Bastard of Istanbul

More on The Bastard of Istanbul