BBC Culture

Talking Books

Turkey’s Elif Shafak on the power of fiction

Elif Shafak is the leading female writer and a vastly popular voice in Turkish literature. She explains the importance of storytelling to Talking Books’ Razia Iqbal.

Elif Shafak is one of the most prominent voices in Turkish literature. She is the most read and celebrated female novelist in the country.

Shafak began writing creatively at the age of eight and is the author of 12 books, eight of which are novels. She writes in both Turkish and English, tackling difficult topics like domestic violence, honour killings and the question of Armenia, a controversial subject in Turkey. 

In her discussion with Talking Books’ Razia Iqbal, Shafak describes how books were a powerful force that helped her through an often solitary childhood on the move. She enthuses about the importance of storytelling in bringing together multiple voices and finding common ground.

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.