The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

The Bastard of Istanbul

Elif Shafak

This is the story of the womenfolk of two families and in a roundabout way highlights the Armenian genocide of 1915. Strong on depicting the sights and sounds of a modern-day Istanbul, this book was not always easy to read, but I felt that my effort to stay with it was rewarded in the end.


Family stories intermingle in such ways that what happened generations ago can have an impact on seemingly irrelevant developments of the present day. The past is anything but bygone. If Levent Kazanc─▒ hadn't grown up to be such a bitter and abusive man, would his only son, Mustafa, have ended up being a different person? If generations ago in 1915 Shushan hadn't been left an orphan, would Asya today still be a bastard?

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