Elif Shafak: “We are all plural beings”

“Once upon a time.” So begins The Island of Lost Trees by Elif Shafak. And when we come to the end of this novel on the bloody partition of Cyprus in 1974, we say to ourselves that it could not begin otherwise than with this sesame. He alone allows magic to take power, the tale to extend its ramifications beyond borders. This is what makes the stamp of the Istanbul-based novelist exiled in London and which seduces a large audience: universal stories, characters who do not fit into the imposed frameworks, who thwart social conventions, ostracism, war madness . Of The Bastard of Istanbul, his first book translated into French in 2007, at 10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world (2018), his stories exude both the dull light of today and the shimmering penumbra of legends.

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