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Elif Shafak talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Fictions: Life Force

Hay Festival 2019 , 

Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World is an intensely powerful new novel from the bestselling author of The Bastard of Istanbul and Honour. For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of a stew of spiced goat, 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.