The Saint of Incipient Insanities was the first), Turkish novelist Shafak tackles Turkish national identity and the Armen"/>

The Bastard of Istanbul

Elif Shafak, Author . Viking $24.95 (360p) ISBN 978-0-670-03834-3

In her second novel written in English (The Saint of Incipient Insanities was the first), Turkish novelist Shafak tackles Turkish national identity and the Armenian "question" in her signature style. In a novel that overflows with a kitchen sink's worth of zany characters, women are front and center: Asya Kazanci, an angst-ridden 19-year-old Istanbulite is the bastard of the title; her beautiful, rebellious mother, Zeliha (who intended to have an abortion), has raised Asya among three generations of complicated and colorful female relations (including religious clairvoyant Auntie Banu and bar-brawl widow, Auntie Cevriye). The Kazanci men either die young or take a permanent hike like Mustafa, Zeliha's beloved brother who immigrated to America years ago. Mustafa's Armenian-American stepdaughter, Armanoush, who grew up on her family's stories of the 1915 genocide, shows up in Istanbul looking for her roots and for vindication from her new Turkish family. The Kazanci women lament Armanoush's family's suffering, but have no sense of Turkish responsibility for it; Asya's boho cohorts insist there was no genocide at all. As the debate escalates, Mustafa arrives in Istanbul, and a long-hidden secret connecting the histories of the two families is revealed. Shafak was charged with "public denigration of Turkishness" when the novel was published in Turkey earlier this year (the charges were later dropped). She incorporates a political taboo into an entertaining and insightful ensemble novel, one that posits the universality of family, culture and coincidence. (Jan. 22)

Reviewed on: 11/13/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007
Show other formats
FORMATS
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60640-146-0
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-670-91918-5
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4406-3584-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0397-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3397-0
Hardcover - 478 pages - 978-1-60285-022-4
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-14-311271-6
Paperback - 583 pages - 978-89-8498-590-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4001-2397-1
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-14-103169-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5397-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.