Elif Shafak – The Politics of Fiction

I am writing  short story inspired by Turkish women I have met and been inspired by and when not researching for my day job, I have been immersing myself in writings on Turkish culture, history, politics, and life. One of my favourite authors is Elif Shafak and while ordering some of her latest work I came across her TED talk. It is insightful and inspiring and entreats us to open the boundaries of culture.

The System

My Eccentric Friend

What is it that pulls you off the beaten path? The path you’ve mapped so that each day follows the next in well-ordered progression. Where love is constant, unquestionable and unassuming as the cup of tea you bring me before work, when my eyes are half open and the bed still warm on your side.

What iXperia May to Sept 2014 369s it that pulls you, no me, from that long familiarity where our hands seek each other’s, unknowing.  Where the beating of our hearts is synchronised to the passing of the day, mornings, evenings and afternoons, in timeless rhythm, as tuned-in as dancers on ice.

I come into the house the way I always do, hang up my coat, throw my bag down, and set out our cups for tea.  But I don’t remember you. Somewhere on the path I got lost, turned away. My hand has forgotten how to find yours. I wait…

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Something Coils

My Eccentric Friend

What Story Would You Write?

What does he have in the bag? Sculpture on exhibition at Hotel Tylösand, Sweden.

This sculpture chilled me. The man or boy seems to have emerged from the ocean. He is pale and holds something in a bag at arm’s length. The sculptor must have had a particular story in mind. Here is mine.

The man ascends the steep bank rising from the shoreline. His head appears first over the grassy embankment. His hair is short and pressed damply to his skull, so his ears seem unusually large and stand out from his head. You note that although his nose is not quite straight, no features are striking. Nor is his body distinctive. He is slim but not muscular and you can see that his upper torso is smooth and hairless, because he wears no shirt. You are not alarmed by his partially dressed state, for although it is late, at this time…

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How to Install a Bathroom

DSC_0579

Extract:

How to install a  bathroom: cover all floors with cardboard; spread your economically thin dust-sheet on top; tell the woman of the house that it will make a mess; make sure it is a big mess, she is paying a lot of money; find the longest route through the house; tread carefully, your boots are for building-sites not hardwood floors in Newton Mearns; do not spin round on your heels; that interesting circular pattern was not there before; yes it is unique, no, her neighbours will not be envious;

MVJ 2015

For more information please email the author of this blog.

 

The System

Extract

What is it that pulls you off the beaten path? The path you’ve mapped so that each day follows the next in well-ordered progression. Where love is constant, unquestionable and as unassuming as the cup of tea you bring me before work, when my eyes are half open and the bed still warm on your side.

—–

What she means is that she will not work for me. I watch him at his desk. He is fast, efficient, he doesn’t ask her opinion but expects to receive it. He does his part, passes papers to her, she does her bit, brings them back, smooth as the Berlin Metro. He rewards her with quick little smiles. She beams; she shimmies past my desk on her click-clicking heels.

MVJ2015

For more information, email the author of this blog