I learned about The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak, from More magazine's February issue. Here's the blurb:

Elif In this appealing fable, Turkish author Elif Shafak toggles between
characters from different times: a modern American housewife and a
thirteenth-century poet.

Ella Rubinstein is unhappily married when she takes a job at a
literary agency. There she finds a manuscript about the poet Rumi by a
writer named Aziz Zahara. Zahara’s meditations on love enchant Ella,
and the two begin a flirtatious correspondence: “Love came to Ella as
suddenly and brusquely as if a stone had been hurled from out of
nowhere into the tranquil pond of her life.”

The universal theme is the struggle between the rational mind and
the aching heart. Shafak’s heroine yields to the latter and never looks

Here is more from BookSmith about Shafak (who is a bestselling author in Turkey) and The Forty Rules of Love. I hadn't heard of her before, but she is quite well-known.

Has anyone read any Elif Shafak before? Has anyone read The Forty Rules of Love yet? There aren't many blogger reviews out there.


  • February 19, 2010 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read anything by Shafak yet, although I have her “The Bastard of Istanbul” near the top of my TBR pile. You are right, she doesn’t seem to be mentioned much online!

  • SevgiN
    February 20, 2010 - 7:32 am | Permalink

    Mysticism is one of her favorite topics – she talks about this in almost all interviews.
    I wish you could read her in Turkish. She’s not my favorite writer (I’m Turkish, by the way) but I admit she’s definitely one of the most talented. She uses the language in a way most writers don’t – you get the feeling that she’s in love with words and she likes flirting with them.

  • Darby Lohrding
    February 24, 2010 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I have not read anything by this author yet I have read many of Rumi’s poem’s and I’m guessing this book will become an easy way for future Rumi fans to become acquainted with his work. So we’ll probably be seeing reprints of his poetry books coming out soon. This book I have noticed is appearing more and more on-line in the form of advertising…I bet it’s just starting it’s press coverage. I have requested it from our library as soon as they receive a copy. I’ll let you know what I think!
    darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

  • March 2, 2010 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I have not heard of this book or this author but I am definitely intrigued. I am putting it on my tbr list!

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