Elif Shafak, the award winning Turkish- British writer, who writes in Turkish and English, is under investigation by prosecutors from Turkey along with other writers, for infringing obscenity laws. Said the writer:
“In the World Economic Forum’s gender gap report, Turkey ranks 130 of 149 countries. Only around 15% of child and adult sexual abuse cases are reported. The number of child brides is alarming. We need to talk about our problems rather than pretending they do not exist. The art of storytelling should dare to talk about difficult subjects.
“In all my novels I have tried to give voice to the voiceless. I have written about outcasts, minorities, the displaced and exiled … I wanted to make their stories heard. So I really find it tragic that instead of changing the laws, building shelters for abused women and children, improving the conditions for the victims, they are attacking fiction writers. That is very sad.”
Shafak’s new novel, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, renders the story of a murdered sex worker who is at the threshold of death. In that short span before she recedes into complete lifelessness, the victim recalls her life’s story. “Doctors have observed brain activity in patients for about 10 minutes after they have been pronounced dead,” Shafak says. “The part of the brain that’s in charge of memory is the last to shut down. What does a human being think in that time? What do they remember?”
Shafak recreates the world of the helpless and the exploited in her latest novel just as she has done in her earlier works. Read more about Shafak’s unfolding of the world of darkness and the reaction of the Turkish prosecutors in this article on i News.
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