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Acclaimed Turkish author Elif Şafak tours US with


Acclaimed Turkish author Elif Şafak tours US with ´Black Milk´


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Internationally acclaimed Turkish writer Elif Şafak has embarked on a U.S. tour following the release there of her latest book, “Siyah Süt” (Black Milk), based on her personal experiences with postpartum depression.

Şafak’s tour of top universities and literature festivals included two recent events at the PEN festival in New York. She took the stage with Salman Rushdie and Jonathan Franzen before an audience of 500 people at the festival’s closing ceremony, which took place at the Moth Theater, and made a speech on the “Dilemmas of a Writer.”

The author’s new memoir, the elegantly written “Black Milk,” traces her journey from free-spirited, nomadic artist to an emotionally wrought mother. After the birth of her first child in 2006, Şafak suffered from postpartum depression that triggered a profound personal crisis. Infused with guilt, anxiety and bewilderment about whether she could ever be a good mother, she stopped writing.

In her speech at the PEN festival, Şafak gave some anecdotes from her personal life and related colorful, entertaining, thought-provoking slices of life from Istanbul, past and present.

During her U.S. tour, the author has also delivered speeches at Virginia University, Harvard University and Boston University that drew great interest from students, especially women.

Şafak said Istanbul was, of course, her favorite city and her relationship with it “like a wavy, passionate and compelling lover.”

When answering questions on the “best readers,” she said the best readers are “those who read books and novels with their hearts.”

A photo by Ebru Bilin Akyıldız that was used in the promotion in Turkey of Şafak’s previous novel, “Aşk” (The Forty Rules of Love), was used for the cover of “Black Milk,” which is published by Viking/Penguin.

Hürriyet Daily News


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