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The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

The Bastard of Istanbul (edition 2007)

by Elif Shafak

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1,091437,626 (3.65)75
Title:The Bastard of Istanbul
Authors:Elif Shafak
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (UK) (2007), Edition: Open market e., Paperback, 360 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Şafak

  1. 00
    Het sprookje van de laatste gedachte by Edgar Hilsenrath (gust)
    gust: Ook een boek over de Armeense genocide

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English (35)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Iscrpna prica o zivotu Turske porodice u kojoj caruju zene, a najmladja medju njima je kopile koje tek na kraju shvata da joj je otac ustvari njen rodjeni ujak. Svako poglavlje knjige nosi naziv glavnih sastojaka Turske kuhinje, a zadnje otrova koji je okoncao zivot i pricu... ( )
  ceca78 | Apr 10, 2016 |
Very little plot, all character study of two families, both odd, one Turkish and the other Armenian. ( )
  punxsygal | Jan 16, 2016 |
This book came back to me. I had it once form the library but then put it aside because another book came up and needed to be read. I then saw this book here again by chance and it looked familiar. I am glad it came back because it is a great and wonderful story.

It is a story which is woven in a tighter and tighter pattern. Loose ends tie up with other lose ends, people from across the world get linked and intertwined. Food is one of the ways the get linked, family another and grief and pain is another way people find each others.

A wonderful story brilliantly told. The characters are well defined and painted. I admit, my love for Istanbul made this an especially pleasant read.

I want more. ( )
  PeterNZ | May 11, 2015 |
The mordant gap between the children of those who managed to stay and the children of those who had to leave.

If there's one story the media in the United States should be having conniptions over right now, it's that of Mike Brown. Not Ebola, not Ukraine, not even Robin Williams, for if that man was half of the good things I've heard since depression killed him, he wouldn't want the tears of those who believe yet another black person deserved to die at the hands of white law enforcement. There's no nation quite like the US when it comes to handling the genocide card; it makes for a much messier state of things than this book's portrayal of the cosmopolitan memory of the Armenian genocide committed by the Turkish, but the indoctrination is there, the view of abroad versus the focus of at home is there, and the compromise, oh, the compromise. The compromise is there, with no answers to tuck you in at night.

The word 'genocide' hadn't existed in concrete fullness on April 24, 1915, much as there is no singular term for what Wikipedia calls "government neglect, unfavorable social policies, high poverty rates, changes implemented in the criminal justice system and laws, and...extremely high incarceration rates" within its 'Social issues' section of the 'Post-Civil Rights Era in African-American history'. Words, words, words, all of which imply a both sides to the story and refuse to even touch upon the body count or the unwillingness of drivers in Portland, Oregon, to stop for black pedestrians in crosswalks with no traffic lights, twice as likely to keep on going and make them wait of fear for their lives. I don't invoke this as a metaphor for the relations of Armenians and Turkish people in this day and age, but as a personal reminder of the latest link in a history of oppression in my own country. Şafak doesn't solve the issues faced by oppressors and oppressed; she starts a conversation, and within my own means, I will follow.

Am I responsible for my father's crime? A Girl Named Turk asked.
You are responsible for recognizing your father's crime, Anti-Khavurma replied.

I will admit, I wish she had gone further, rather than bring forward another age old incarnation of patriarchal violation that I am far more comfortable in my stance towards. I wish she had continued her wonderfully modern take on American-centric stereotypes, her portrayal of today's Istanbul with all its novelties all the more intriguing for their familiarity and feminism, her discussions of existentialism and Eastern European literature that never felt the need to wrap themselves in esoteric pomposity. I wish she had continued that Internet chat quoted above, just one example of the many I have had online regarding oppression, social justice, what I as a white inheritor of protection what must do with such skin-deep privilege. Futile wishes, for her heritage is not mine, and yet how wonderful it is to encounter a modern author refusing to be silent, taking on the technological inundation in a world founded on millenia of might makes right.

"I admire philosophy," Asya conceded. "But that doesn't necessarily mean I agree with the philosophers."

I have hope for contemporary literature, and indeed the literature for the future, because of books such as these. Pretty prose has its perks, but I'll chose an unflinchingly progressive state of story over dehumanizing jargon any day. ( )
  Korrick | Aug 29, 2014 |
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Once there was; once there wasn´t.
God´s creatures were as plentiful as grains
And talking too much was a sin...

- The preamble to a Turkish tale 
     ... and to an Armanian tale
To Eyup and Behrazat Zelda
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143112716, Paperback)

Populated with vibrant characters, The Bastard of Istanbul is the story of two families, one Turkish and one Armenian American, and their struggle to forge their unique identities against the backdrop of Turkey's violent history. Filled with humor and understanding, this exuberant, dramatic novel is about memory and forgetting, about the tension between the need to examine the past and the desire to erase it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:41 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Turkish teen Asya is coming of age under the wing of her tattoo-parlor owner mother and her three aunts, befriending a cousin from America, and discovering a secret that links her family to the 1915 Armenian deportations and massacres.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

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