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  • Published: 18 June 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241979464
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019




'A rich, sensual novel that gives voice to the invisible' Financial Times - shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019

'In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila's consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away...'
For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life - friends who are now desperately trying to find her. . .

  • Published: 18 June 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241979464
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

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Praise for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

Shafak is the most exciting Turkish novelist to reach western readers in years

Irish Times

A terrific book. Poetic, poignant, trenchant

Ian Rankin on 'Three Daughters of Eve'

A brave and passionate novel

Paul Theroux on 'Bastard of Istanbul'

A thoughtful, charming book that offers a connection to other worlds, perspectives and possibilities

Sunday Times on 'Three Daughters of Eve'

Haunting, moving, beautifully written

Peter Frankopan

One of the best writers in the world today

Hanif Kureishi

A truly captivating work of immense power and beauty

Philippe Sands

A vivid carnival of life and death, cruelty and kindness, love, politics and deep humanity. This is only possible in the hands of a consummate storyteller. Elif Shafak's lyrical command of language and narrative is breathtaking. Brilliant!

Helena Kennedy

Elif Shafak brings into the written realm what so many others want to leave outside. Spend more than ten minutes and 38 seconds in this world of the estranged. Shafak makes a new home for us in words

Colum McCann

Elif Shafak's extraordinary Ten Minutes, 38 Seconds in this Strange World is a work of brutal beauty and consummate tenderness, a wild shout of life from out of the lower depths of destitution and prostitution, indeed from beyond the grave itself. Every page throbs with unruly vitality, the sense- saturating colours scents and sounds of raw Istanbul, all registered with poetic sharpness. It's a book which for all its ordeals is a profoundly moving, at times lyrical, celebration of humanity's obstinate fight for life against the steepest of odds

Simon Schama

A rich, sensual novel... This is a novel that gives voice to the invisible, the untouchable, the abused and the damaged, weaving their painful songs into a thing of beauty.

Francesca Segal, Financial Times

A heartbreaking meditation on the ways in which social forces can destroy a life. Elif Shafak can be unsparing, lyrical, political, intimate... Several novels live in this one, and all of them are moving, generous and elegantly written

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

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