Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books. Elif Shafak is one of Turkey's most acclaimed and outspoken novelists. She was born A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Mar 28, Download [PDF] Books Three Daughters of Eve (PDF, ePub, Mobi) by Elif Shafak Read Online Full Free.

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Mar 20, Download [PDF] Books The Bastard of Istanbul (PDF, ePub, Mobi) by Elif Shafak Free Complete eBooks. Honour. Elif Shafak. VIKING an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0Rl, England. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Author: Elif Shafak THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL Elif Shafak Copyright: Book Jacket: Twenty years later, Asya Kazanci lives with her extend.

This would make sense as it is a major theme in Turkey as well as for most TCKs. I am doing the review of these novels a bit differently than my normal practice.

I read these three books over the last few months without taking any notes. I have read other books in the meantime. I wanted to see how the characters would stay with me. I find this to be a better test of fiction. And I am happy to say that all three of these novels passed the test with flying colors.

The characters from each novel, each of whose contexts could not be more dissimilar, are stuck in my head and continuing their conversations with me.

How they do and do not relate to each other and to the history of the building and the city as well as how their identity is formed and articulated runs throughout the story. In the end we are forced to wonder about the nature of reality. I have to be honest and say that I finished this book totally confused and now months later am still trying to figure it out.

I have avoided talking about it with people who understand it as I actually am enjoying the process. The characters continue to speak even though I cannot understand what they are saying.

It is similar to waking up from a foggy dream and trying to remember the details and whether they have any meaning. If you read it, please leave a comment but do not give any spoilers so that other can enjoy it as well. This is the first word that comes to mind when I think of The Bastard of Istanbul. This is the book for which Ms. Fortunately, the case was thrown out of court on the first day. I do not think that anyone who has lived in Turkey was surprised about the case given the sensitive nature of the Armenian issue in Turkey.

This book delves deeply into the Turkish — Armenian history as it follows two young women and their families, one in Istanbul and the other in California. However, as with Orhan Pamuk, identity is a major theme in her novels. This would make sense as it is a major theme in Turkey as well as for most TCKs. I am doing the review of these novels a bit differently than my normal practice.

I read these three books over the last few months without taking any notes. I have read other books in the meantime. I wanted to see how the characters would stay with me.

Elif Shafak

I find this to be a better test of fiction. And I am happy to say that all three of these novels passed the test with flying colors. The characters from each novel, each of whose contexts could not be more dissimilar, are stuck in my head and continuing their conversations with me. So, let us get to it…. The Flea Palace is set in an apartment building in Istanbul that has had an interesting history but is presently just another building with a trash problem.

How they do and do not relate to each other and to the history of the building and the city as well as how their identity is formed and articulated runs throughout the story. In the end we are forced to wonder about the nature of reality. I have to be honest and say that I finished this book totally confused and now months later am still trying to figure it out.

I have avoided talking about it with people who understand it as I actually am enjoying the process. The characters continue to speak even though I cannot understand what they are saying.

It is similar to waking up from a foggy dream and trying to remember the details and whether they have any meaning. If you read it, please leave a comment but do not give any spoilers so that other can enjoy it as well.

This is the first word that comes to mind when I think of The Bastard of Istanbul. This is the book for which Ms. Fortunately, the case was thrown out of court on the first day. I do not think that anyone who has lived in Turkey was surprised about the case given the sensitive nature of the Armenian issue in Turkey. This book delves deeply into the Turkish — Armenian history as it follows two young women and their families, one in Istanbul and the other in California.

As is the case with all three of these Shafak books, she does not shy away from strange, broken, and ugly characters in developing a complex picture of people that is not far from the reality of this broken world.

This book falls into the category of historical fiction and does an excellent job of helping the reader to see both sides of the issue. What makes it more powerful is that it was written by a Turk. A quick search on Google reveals just how virulent and passionate this relationship is on both sides. There is much pain and woundedness and a correlated need for healing, but unfortunately the politics, fear, and hatred does not allow for the two sides to find peace. This book, in my opinion, is a wonderful attempt by one author to bridge the divide using fiction.

Harboring profound contempt for weepy women ever since she was a little girl, Zeliha had promised herself never to turn into one of those walking miseries who scattered tears and nitpicky complaints everywhere they went and of which there were far too many around her.

She had forbidden herself to cry. To this day, she had on the whole managed pretty well to stick to her promise. When and if tears welled up in her eyes, she simply held her breath and remembered her promise.

So on this first Friday of July she once again did what she had always done to stifle the tears: She took a deep breath and thrust her chin upward as an indication of strength. This time, however, something went awfully wrong and the breath she had held came out as a sob.

Black Milk

The doctor did not look surprised. He was used to it. The women always cried. It's only a slumber. You'll sleep, you'll dream, before you finish your dream, we'll wake you up and you'll go home. After that, you'll remember nothing. That remarkably aquiline nose of hers, which she, like her siblings, had inherited from their father; hers, unlike her siblings, was sharpened further on the ridge and elongated a bit more on the edges. The doctor patted her shoulder, handed her a tissue, and then handed her the whole box.

He always had a spare box of tissues ready by his desk. Drug companies distributed these tissue boxes free of charge. Along with pens and notebooks and other things that carried their company names, they made tissues for women patients who could not stop crying. Delicious figs Good ripe figs!

What did his customers call him Zeliha thought to herself, as she laid stilll on a table in a room unnervingly white and immaculate. Neither the accoutrements nor even the knives scared her as much as this absolute whiteness.

There was something in the color white that resembled silence. Both were emptied of life. In her endeavor to sway away from the color of silence, Zeliha grew distracted by a black spot on the ceiling. The more she fixed her stare on it, the more the spot resembled a black spider.

First it was still, but then it started to crawl. The spider grew bigger and bigger as the injection started to spread in Zeliha's veins. In a few seconds she was so heavy she could not move a finger. As she tried to resist being carried away by the anesthetized slumber, she started to sob again.

Perhaps you would like to mull it over," said the doctor in a velvety voice as if Zeliha was a pile of dust and he was afraid of brushing her away with the wind of his words if he spoke louder. Today or never. The doctor nodded. As if waiting for this gesture, all of a sudden the Friday prayer poured into the room from the nearby mosque. In seconds another mosque joined in and then another and another.

Zeliha's face contorted in discomfort. She hated it when a prayer originally designed to be called out in the pureness of the human voice was dehumanized into an electro-voice roaring over the city from microphones and cabinet speakers.

Soon the clamor was so deafening she suspected there was something wrong with the loudspeaker system of each and every mosque in the vicinity. Either that or her ears had become extremely sensitive.

Don't worry. Zeliha looked at him quizzically. Was her contempt for the electro-prayer so obvious on her face? Not that she minded. Among all the Kazanci women she was the only one who was openly irreligious.

As a child it used to please her to imagine Allah as her best friend, which was not a bad thing of course, except that her other best friend was a garrulous, freckled girl who had made smoking a habit at the age of eight.

The girl happened to be the daughter of their cleaning lady, a chubby Kurdish woman with a mustache she did not always bother to shave.

Back in those days, the cleaning lady used to come to their house twice a week, bringing her daughter along on each visit. Zeliha and the girl became good friends after a while, even cutting their index fingers to mix their blood and become lifelong blood-sisters. For a week the two girls went around with bloody bandages wrapped around their fingers as a sign of their sisterhood.

Back in those days, whenever Zeliha prayed it would be this bloody bandage she'd be thinking about-if only Allah too could become a blood-sister Pardon me, she would instantly apologize and then repeat again and again because whenever you apologized to Allah you had to do it thrice: Pardon me, pardon me, pardon me.

Allah could not and should not be personified. Allah did not have fingers, or blood for that matter. One had to refrain from attributing human qualities to him-that's to say, Him-which was not easy since every one of his that's to say, His-ninety-nine names happened to be qualities also pertinent to human beings. He could see it all but had no eyes; He could hear it all but had no ears; He could reach out everywhere but had no hands Out of all this information an eight-year-old Zeliha had drawn the conclusion that Allah could resemble us, but we could not resemble Him.

Or was it vice versa?

Anyway, one had to learn to think about him-that's to say, Him-without thinking of Him as him. The chances are she would not have minded this as much if one afternoon she had not spotted a bloody bandage around her elder sister Feride's index finger.

It looked like the Kurdish girl made her a blood-sister too. Zeliha felt betrayed. Only then it dawned on her that her real objection to Allah was not his-that's to say, His-not having any blood but rather having too many blood-sisters, too many to care for so as to end up not caring for anyone.

The episode of friendship had not lasted long after that. The konak being so big and dilapidated and Mom being so grumpy and mulish, the cleaning lady quit after a while, taking her daughter away.

Having been left without a best friend, whose friendship, indeed, had been rather dubious, Zeliha felt a subtle resentment, but she hadn't quite known toward whom-to the cleaning lady for quitting, to her mom for making her quit, to her best friend for playing two sides, to her elder sister for stealing her blood-sister, or to Allah. The others being utterly out of her reach, she chose Allah to be resentful toward.

Having felt like an infidel at such an early age, she saw no reason why she shouldn't do so as an adult. Another call to prayer from another mosque joined in. The prayers multiplied in echoes, as if drawing circles within circles. Oddly enough, at this moment in the doctor's office, she worried about being late for dinner. Each of her sisters was good with a particular recipe, so depending on the cook of the day she could pray for a different dish.

She craved stuffed green peppers-a particularly tricky dish since every one of her sisters made it so differently. Her breathing slowed while the spider started to descend.

Still trying to stare at the ceiling, Zeliha felt as if she and the people in the room were not occupying the same space. She stepped into the kingdom of Morpheus. It was too bright here, almost glossy.

Slowly and cautiously, she walked along a bridge teeming with cars and pedestrians, and motionless fishermen with worms wiggling at the ends of their spinning rods. As she navigated among them, every cobblestone she stepped on turned out to be loose, and to her awe, there was only void underneath. Soon she'd realize in horror that what was below was also above, and it was raining cobblestones from the blue skies.

When a cobblestone fell from the sky, a cobblestone lessened from the pavement below. Above the sky and under the ground, there was the same thing: As cobblestones rained from above, enlarging further the cavity underneath, she panicked, afraid of being swallowed by the hungry abyss. How on earth she could have walked here was a puzzle she had no desire to solve. She felt nothing, neither pain nor sorrow. So, she concluded, in the end the indifference must have won the race.

It wasn't only her baby but her senses too that had been aborted on that pure white table in the next room. Perhaps now she could go fishing, and finally manage to stand still for hours on end without feeling frustrated or left behind, as if life were a swift hare she could only watch from a distance but never possibly catch. What a fright! How you scared us! Do you have any idea how you shrieked?

It was so awful! I only wonder why the police did not show up at our door! Still not quite understanding why she had,annoyed the receptionist but seeing no point in annoying her any further, she offered the first excuse that came to her mind: We have not even laid a hand on you!

You did not pass out, woman, no way; first you were blathering, and then you started yelling and cursing. I've never seen anything like it in fifteen years. It must have taken the morphine twice as long to take effect on you.

If she wants to have this abortion for sure, she can still go for it afterward. We brought you here and let you sleep. And sleep indeed you did! Zeliha touched her belly while her eyes appealed for a consolation the receptionist was the last person on earth to grant. But Zeliha knew. She simply did. Once on the street, despite the gathering darkness, it felt like early morning.

The rain had ceased and life looked beautiful, almost manageable. Though the traffic was still a mess and the streets full of sludge, the crisp smell of the after-rain gave the whole city a sacred air.

Here and there children stomped in mud puddles, taking delight in committing simple sins. If there ever was a right time to sin, it must have been at this fleeting instant. One of those rare moments when it felt like Allah not only watched over us but also cared for us; one of those moments when He felt close. It almost felt as if Istanbul had become a blissful metropolis, romantically picturesque, just like Paris, thought Zeliha; not that she had ever been to Paris. A seagull flew close crying a coded message she was almost on the verge of deciphering.

For half a minute Zeliha believed she was on the cutting edge of a new beginning. So on that first Friday ofJuly around eight p. Zeliha came home, to the slightly decrepit, high-ceilinged Ottoman konak that looked out of place amid five times as tall modern apartment buildings on both sides.

She trudged up the curved staircase and found all the Kazanci females gathered upstairs around the wide dinner table, occupied with their meal, obviously having felt no reason to wait for her. Come on in, join our supper," Banu exclaimed, craning her neck over an oven-fried crispy chicken wing.

Twelve years older and thirty pounds heavier than Zeliha, she looked less like her sister than like her mother. If she was to be believed, Banu had a bizarre digestive system that stored everything ingested, which could have been a more credible claim had she not also argued that even if it were pure water that she consumed, her body would still evolve it into fat, and thereby she could not possibly be held accountable for her weight or be asked to go on a diet.

Today's menu looked splendidly familiar. She squared her shoulders, lifted her chin, knitted her eyebrows, and then turned her contorted face toward Zeliha's, as if by doing so she could read her youngest daughter's mind. So there they stood, Gulsum and Zeliha, mother and daughter, scowling at each other, each ready to quarrel but reluctant to start the fight.

It was Zeliha who first averted her eyes. Knowing too well what a big mistake it would be to display her temper in front of her mother, she forced herself to smile and attempted an answer, albeit an indirect one.

I bought a set of tea glasses. They are absolutely gorgeous! They have gilded stars and little spoons that match. She always ate healthy, balanced meals and wore her hair in a perfectly pinned chignon that twisted at the nape of her neck without letting even a tangle of hair loose.

Three Daughters of Eve

Why didn't you get any cinnamon sticks?! I told you this morning we were going to have rice pudding today and there was no cinnamon left at home to sprinkle on it.

Her theory of bread, which she was fond of pronouncing regularly and putting into practice all the time, was that if not given a proper amount at each and every sitting, the stomach would not "know" it was full and would thereby ask for more food. For the stomach to fully comprehend its fullness, one had to eat decent portions of bread with everything. Thus, Banu would have bread with potatoes, bread with rice, bread with pasta, bread with borek, and at those times when she wanted to 23 ELIF SHAFAK give her stomach a far clearer message, she would have bread with bread.

Dinner without bread was a sheer sin, which Allah might forgive, but Banu definitely would not. Zeliha pursed her lips and stood silent, only now remembering the fate of the cinnamon sticks. Avoiding the question, she put a stuffed pepper on her plate. Each time she could easily tell if it was Banu or Cevriye or Feride who had prepared the peppers. If it was Banu, they turned out to be full of stuff they'd have otherwise sorely lacked, including peanuts and cashews and almonds.

If it was Feride, they would be full of rice, each green pepper so ballooned it was impossible to eat without breaking. When her tendency to overstuff the peppers was added to her love for seasonings of all sorts, Feride's dolmas burst with herbs and spices.

Depending on the combination, this turned out either exceptionally well or simply awful. When it was Cevriye who had cooked the dish, however, it was always sweeter, because she added powdered sugar to every edible thing no matter what, as if to compensate for the sourness in her universe. And today it happened to be she who had made the dolmas.

Feride had a problem with making eye contact. She was more comfortable talking to objects. Accordingly, she addressed her words to Zeliha's plate: They operate on a nine-year-old child for appendicitis and then forget a pair of scissors inside.

Do you have any idea how many doctors in this country should be put into jail for medical malpractice? Whether it was the doctors who could not make up their minds or Feride herself industriously working on new infirmities, one could never tell.

After a while it didn't really matter one way or another. Sanity was a promised land, the Shangri-la she had been deported from as a teenager, and to which she intended to return to one day. On the way there she rested at sundry stopovers that came with erratic names and dreary treatments. Even as a little girl, there was something bizarre about Feride.

A most difficult student at school, she had shown no interest in anything other than physical geography classes, and in the geography classes had shown no interest in anything other than a few subjects, starting with the layers of the atmosphere. Her favorite topics were how the ozone was broken down in the stratosphere, and the connection between surface ocean currents and atmospheric patterns.

She had learned all the information she could gather on high-latitude stratospheric circulation, the characteristics of the mesosphere, valley winds and sea breezes, solar cycles and tropical latitudes, and the shape and size of the earth. Everything she had memorized at school she would then volley in the house, peppering every conversation with atmospheric information. Each time she displayed her knowledge on physical geography, she would speak with unprecedented zeal, floating high above the clouds, jumping from one atmospheric layer to the next.

Then, a year after her graduation, Feride had started to display signs of eccentricity and detachment. Although Feride's interest in physical geography had never petered out in the fullness of time, it inspired yet another area of interest that she profoundly enjoyed: Every day she read the third page of the tabloids.

Car accidents, serial killings, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and floods, terminal illnesses, contagious diseases, and unknown viruses Feride would peruse them all. Her selective memory would absorb local, national, and international calamities only to convey them to others out of the blue. But the news she conveyed did not upset the others, as they had renounced believing in her long ago.

Her family had figured out one way of dealing with insanity, and that was to confuse it with a lack of credibility. Feride was first diagnosed with a "stress ulcer," a diagnosis no one in the family took seriously because "stress" had become some sort of catchphrase.

As soon as it was introduced into Turkish culture, "stress" had been so euphorically welcomed by the Istanbulites that there had emerged countless patients of stress in the city. Feride had traveled nonstop from one stress-related illness to another, surprised to discover the vastness of the land since there seemed to be virtually nothing that could not be related to stress.

After that, she had loitered around obsessive-compulsive disorder, disassociative amnesia, and psychotic depression. Managing to poison herself, she was once diagnosed with Bittersweet Nightshade, the name she most relished among her infirmities. At each stage of her journey to insanity, Feride changed her hair color and style, so that after a while the doctors, in their endeavor to follow the changes in her psychology, started to keep a hair chart.

Short, midlength, very long, and once entirely shaven; spiked, flattened, flipped, and braided; subjected to tons of hairspray, gel, wax, or styling cream; accessorized with barrettes, gems, or ribbons; cropped in punk style, pinned up in ballerina buns, highlighted and dyed in every possible hue, each one of her hairstyles had been a fleeting episode while her illness had remained firm and fixed. After a lengthy sojourn in "major depressive disorder,".

Feride had moved to "borderline"-a term construed quite arbitrarily by different members of the Kazanci family. She thus became even more suspicious of this crazy daughter whom she had not trusted in the first place. In stark contrast, for Feride's sisters, the concept of "border" mainly invoked the idea of edge, and the idea of edge invoked the image of a deadly cliff.

For quite a while they treated her with utmost care, as if she were a walking somnambulist on a wall meters high and could fall down any time. However, the word "border" invoked the trim of latticework for Petite-Ma, and she studied her granddaughter with deep interest and sympathy. Feride had recently emigrated into another diagnosis nobody could even pronounce, let alone dare to interpret: Whatever the diagnosis, she lived according to the rules of her own fantasyland, outside of which she had never set foot.

But on this first Friday of July, Zeliha paid no attention to her sister's renowned distaste for doctors. As she started to eat, she realized how hungry she had been all day long. Almost mechanically, she ate a piece of forek, poured herself a glass of ayran, forked another green dolma onto her plate, and revealed the piece of information growing inside her: Gynecologists were the one group among all the physicians she had had the least experience with.

Banu dropped her chicken wing and looked down at her feet as if they had something to do with this; Cevriye pursed her lips hard; Feride shrieked and then oddly unleashed a whoop of laughter; their mother tensely rubbed her forehead, feeling the first aura of a terrible headache approaching; and Petite-Ma It might be because she had gone quite deaf in the course of the recent months.

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Perhaps it was simply because she thought there was nothing to fuss about. With Petite-Ma you never knew. That'd be more scientific! You are not scientific, you are cold-blooded! That's what you are! I have not killed I did! I tried to have the droplet aborted but somehow it did not happen. Zeliha put on a brave face. In a few minutes the operation will begin and the baby will be gone. But then just when I am about to go unconscious on that operating table, I hear the afternoon prayer from a nearby mosque The prayer is soft, like a piece of velvet.

It envelops my whole body. Then, as soon as the prayer is over, I hear a murmur as if somebody is whispering in my ear: Only Petite-Ma remained far off in a better land, having now finished her soup, obediently waiting for her next dish to arrive. Oooo you the culprit of the righteous Kazanci family!

Let this child live! You don't know it yet, but this child will be a leader. This baby will be a monarch! This child of yours will lead the masses, and bring peace and justice to humankind! The baby is still with me! Before long, we'll put another plate at this table. A bastard! You've always brought disgrace on this family. All that makeup andd the revoltingly short skirts, and oh, those high heels!

This is what happens when you dress up You should thank Allah night and day; you should be grateful that there are no men around in this family. They'd have killed you. Not the part about the killing perhaps, but the part about there being no men in the family.

There were. But it was also true that there were far fewer men than women in the Kazanci family. Like an evil spell put on the whole lineage, generations after generations of Kazanci men had died young and unexpectedly. Petite-Ma's husband, Riza Selim Kazanci, for instance, had all of a sudden dropped dead at sixty, unable to breathe.

Then in the next generation, Levent Kazanci had died of a heart attack before he had reached his fifty-first birthday, following the patterns of his father and his father's father.

It looked as if the life span of the men in the family got shorter and shorter with each generation. There was a great-uncle who had run away with a Russian prostitute, only to be robbed by her of all his money and frozen to death in St.

Petersburg; another kinsman had gone to his last resting place after being hit by a car while trying to cross the autobahn heavily 29 ELIF SHAFAK intoxicated; various nephews had died as early as their twenties, one of them drowning while swimming drunk under the full moon, another one hit in the chest by a bullet fired by a hooligan enjoying himself after his soccer team had won the cup, yet another nephew having fallen into a six-foot-deep ditch dug out by the municipality to renovate the street gutters.

Then there was a second cousin, Ziya, who had shot himself, for no apparent reason. Generation after generation, as if complying with an unwritten rule, the men in the Kazanci family tree had died young. The greatest age any had reached in the current generation was forty-one. Determined not to repeat the pattern, another great-uncle had taken utmost care to lead a healthy life, strictly refraining from overeating, sex with prostitutes, contacts with hooligans, alcohol and other sorts of intoxicants, and had ended up crushed by a concrete chunk falling from a construction site he happened to pass by.

Then there was Celal, a distant cousin, who was the love of Cevriye's life and the husband she lost in a brawl. For reasons still unclear, Celal had been sentenced to two years on charges of bribery. During this time Celal's presence in the family had been confined to the infrequent letters he had been sending from jail, so vague and distant that when the news of his death had arrived, for everyone other than his wife, it had felt like losing a third arm, one that you never had.

He departed this life in a fight, not by a blow or a punch, but by stepping on a high-voltage electricity cable while trying to find a better spot to watch two other prisoners exchange blows. After losing the love of her life, Cevriye sold their house and joined the Kazanci domicile as a humorless history teacher with a Spartan sense of discipline and self-control.

Just as she waged battle against plagiarism at school, she took it upon herself to crusade against impulsiveness, disruption, and spontaneity at home.

Then there was Sabahattin, the tenderhearted, good-natured, but equally self-effacing husband of Banu. So noticeable was their physical distance that when Banu had announced being heavy with twin boys everyone had joked about the technical impossibility of the pregnancy. Yet the ominous fate awaiting every Kazanci man had struck the twins at an early age. Upon losing her toddler boys to childhood illnesses, Banu permanently moved into her family house, only to sporadically visit her husband in the years that followed.

Every now and then she went to see if he was doing okay, more like a concerned stranger than a loving spouse. Then, of course, there was Mustafa, the only son in the current generation, a precious gem bequeathed by Allah amid four daughters. The result of Levent Kazanci's fixation on having a boy to bear his surname had been that the four Kazanci sisters had each grown up feeling like unwelcome visitors.

The first three children were all girls. Banu, Cevriye, and Feride had each felt like an introduction before the real thing, an accidental prelude in their parents' sex life, so determinedly were they oriented toward a male child.

As for the fifth child, Zeliha, she knew she had been conceived with the hope that fortune could be generous twice in a row. After finally having a boy, her parents had wanted to see if they were lucky enough to make another one. Mustafa was precious from the day he was born. A series of measures had been taken to protect him from the grim fate awaiting all the men in the family tree.

As a baby he was bundled in evil-eye beads and amulets; as a toddler he was kept under constant surveillance, and until age eight his hair was kept long like a girl's so as to deceive Azrail, the angel of death.

Whenever someone needed to address the child, "girl" they would say, "girl, come here! A king in his house, the boy seemed to refuse to be one among many in the classroom. So arrogantly antisocial outside his house, so indisputably cherished as the king at home, and with the passing of each birthday so ominously close to the doom suffered by all the Kazanci men, after a while it seemed like a good idea to send Mustafa abroad.

Within a month, Petite-Ma's jewels were sold for the money required and the eighteen-yearold son of the Kazanci family left Istanbul for Arizona, where he became an undergraduate student in agricultural and biosystems engineering and would hopefully survive to see his old age.

Hence, when on that first Friday of July, Gulsum chided Zeliha, asking her to be grateful for the lack of men in the family, there was some truth somewhere in that statement.

In response Zeliha said nothing. Instead she went to the kitchen to find and feed the only male in the house-a silver tabby cat with an insatiable hunger, an unusual fondness for water, and plentiful social-stress symptoms, which could at best be interpreted as independent, and at worst, as neurotic.

His name was Pasha the Third. In the Kazanci konak generations of cats had succeeded each other, like human beings; all had been loved and without exception swept away solely by old age, unlike human beings.

Though each cat had retained its distinct character, overall two competing genes ran through the feline lineage in the house. On the one hand, there was the "noble" gene coming from a longhaired, flat-nosed, powder white Persian cat Petite-Ma had brought with her as a young bride in the late s "the cat must be what little dowry she has," the women in the neighborhood had mocked.

On the other hand, there was the "street" gene coming from an unidentified but apparently tawny street cat the white Persian had managed to copulate with in one of her runaways. Generation after generation, as if taking turns, one of the two genetic traits had prevailed in the feline inhabitants born under this roof. If the kitten looked like a descendant of the aristocratic line, white and furry and flatnosed, they would name it successively, Pasha the First, Pasha the Second, Pasha the Third If it were from the street cat's lineage, they would name it Sultan-a more superior name, signaling the belief that street cats were selfgoverning free spirits, in no need of flattering anyone.

To this day the nominal distinction, without exception, had been reflected in the personalities of the cats under this roof. Those of the nobility turned out to be the aloof, needy, quiet types, constantly licking themselves, wiping out all traces of human contact whenever someone patted them; those of the second group had been the more curious and vigorous types who delighted in bizarre luxuries, such as eating chocolates.

Pasha the Third characteristically embodied the features of his lineage, always walking with a pompous rhythm, as if tiptoeing through broken glass. He had two favorite occupations, which he put into practice on every occasion: Of the latter he could get tired, but of the former, never. Almost every electrical cord in the house had been once or thrice chewed, scraped, dented, and damaged by him. Pasha the Third had managed to survive to a ripe old age despite the numerous electric shocks he had received.

She then put on an apron and toiled through a hill of pots and pans and plates.

The Basturd Of Istanbul By Elif Shafaq

When she had finished the dishes and calmed herself, she shuffled back to the dinner table, where she found the word bastard still hanging in the air, and her mother still frowning. They all sat there motionless until someone remembered the dessert. A sweet, soothing smell filled the room as Cevriye poured rice pudding from a huge cauldron into tiny bowls. While Cevriye kept doling with practiced ease, Feride followed her, sprinkling shredded coconut on top of each bowl.

As she breathed out her fatigue bit by bit, she felt the yo-yo indifference slacken off again. Her spirits sank under the weight of all that had and had not happened on this prolonged and hellish day.

She scanned the dinner table, feeling more and more guilt-ridden at the sight of each bowl of rice pudding now canopied by coconut flakes. Then, without turning her gaze, she murmured in a voice so gracefully soft, it didn't sound like her at all.

Besides, this was not the right moment to putter around. Having left her little girl inside the car in the parking lot, she now felt ill at ease. Sometimes she did things she instantly regretted but could not possibly take back, and if truth be told, such incidents had multiplied alarmingly over the last few months-three and a half months to be exact. Three and a half months of hell on earth as she resisted, fought over, cried about, refused to accept, begged not to, and finally yielded to her marriage coming to an end.

Matrimony might be a fleeting folly that tricked you into believing that it would be forever, but it was harder to appreciate the humor when you were not the one who ended it. The fact that marriage had to tarry before it irretrievably lapsed gave the false impression that there was still hope until you understood it was not hope for the better that you were living for, 35 ELIF SHAFAK but hope that the suffering finally would end for both so that each could go his or her own way.

And go her own way was precisely what Rose had decided to do from now on. If all this was tantamount to some sort of a tunnel of anguish God was compelling her to crawl through, she would emerge from it no longer recognizable as that weak woman she once had been. As a sign of her resoluteness Rose tried to force a chuckle but it didn't make it past her throat.

Instead she sighed, a sigh that sounded more troubled than intended only because she had reached an aisle she'd rather not visit: Sweets and Chocolate Bars. She got herself one, two Not that she was carb-watching, but she liked the sound of it, or more precisely, she liked the possibility of being watchful of something, anything.

After being repeatedly accused of being a slipshod housewife and a terrible mother, Rose was eager to prove the contrary in any way she could. In a flash she swerved the cart, but found herself in another aisle of junk food. Where the hell were the diapers? Her eyes caught sight of a pile of toasted coconut marshmallows and the next thing she knew there were one, two Don't Rose, don't Just this afternoon you gobbled a whole quart of Cherry Garcia ice cream You've already gained so much weight If this was an inner warning, it didn't come through loud enough.

Nevertheless, it activated a guilt button somewhere in Rose's subconscious and a picture of herself popped up in her mind. For a fleeting second, she stood staring at her reflection in an imaginary mirror, although she had so deftly avoided the real mirror behind the organic baby lettuces. With a sinking heart she eyed her widened hips and buttocks but still managed to smile at her high cheekbones, gold blond hair, misty blue eyes, and those perfect ears of hers!

The ear was such a trustworthy part of the human body. No matter how much weight you gained, your ears remained exactly the same, always loyal. Rose's physical form was anything but loyal.

So volatile was her body she could not even classify it, the way Healthy Living Magazine categorized the body types of their female readers. If she belonged to the "pear-shaped" group, for instance, she would have wider hips than shoulders. If "apple shaped," she would be prone to gain weight in the stomach and chest. Having the qualities of both pears and apples, Rose didn't quite know what category to fit in, unless there was another group left unmentioned, the "mango shaped," thick all over and thicker in the bottom.

What the hell, she thought to herself. She would shed the extra pounds. Now that this hell-of-a-divorce season was over, she was going to become a new woman. Definitely, she thought. Her hands reached out to sweets and toffees-Sweet 'N Low Sugar Free Butter Toffee, Starburst Fruit Chews, black licorice twists-and as soon as she had tossed these into the cart, she hurried as if running from someone chasing her. But surrendering to her sweet tooth must have had a triggering effect on her guilty conscience because in next to no time she was struggling with a deeper sense of remorse.

How could she have left her baby girl inside the car all alone? Every day you heard on KVOA about a toddler abducted in front of her home or a mother charged with reckless endangerment Last week a Tucson woman had set her house on fire and almost killed her two kids sleeping inside.

If anything close to that ever happened to her, thought Rose, her motherin-law would be thrilled. Shushan-the-Omnipotent-Matriarch would instantly file suit for the custody of her granddaughter.

Immersed in these grim scenarios, Rose couldn't help shuddering. It was true she had been slightly off recently, forgetting things that were second nature, but nobody, not a single soul in his right 37 ELIF SHAFAK mind, could justly accuse her of being a bad mother! Definitely not!

She was going to prove that both to her ex-husband and to that mammoth Armenian family of his. Her exhusband's family was from another country where people bore a surname she couldn't spell and secrets she couldn't decipher. Rose had always felt like an outsider there, always aware of being an odar-this gluey word that had stuck on her from the very first day.People who represent different religions, languages and nationalities try to know themselves and understand others.

There is much pain and woundedness and a correlated need for healing, but unfortunately the politics, fear, and hatred does not allow for the two sides to find peace. Fortunately, the case was thrown out of court on the first day. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. Gail is an Publishing House the same year. At least not today. This means that her personal culture is not the same as her Turkish peers but is also not the same as the culture of the countries in which she was raised.

Making the lyrics of "Thirteen" her lifelong motto at the age of eighteen, Asya had decided she too was born in the soul of misery and was going to bring trouble wherever she went.

PRINCESS from Bonita Springs
Feel free to read my other posts. I have a variety of hobbies, like sketching. I do enjoy reading novels vacantly.