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Elif Shafak: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World



Asia House welcomes award-winning British Turkish novelist, Elif Shafak, with her intensely powerful new novel (1 week after publication).

‘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…’

10 minutes 38 seconds is the time that Leila’s brain remains active after her death. For Leila, each minute 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.

Shafak will be discussing the themes and inspiration behind this new novel with author and literary editor Erica Wagner. The book will be on sale at the event and you will also be able to have your copies signed by Shafak directly after the talk.

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