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Literary Festival 2011 - Writing Across Borders: Empathy in the Age of Conflict


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Speaker(s): Elif Shafak
Chair: Professor Sevket Pamuk

Recorded on 18 February 2011 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

Storytelling is an ancient and universal art at the heart of which lies the need to imagine and the ability to empathize with others. In a world beset with cultural clashes, misunderstandings and invisible ghettoes, stories keep connecting us across worlds, across words. Women have always been great storytellers in my country, and yet the written culture is still "a man's world". Why do fewer women write even though they compose the majority of fiction readers today? How can stories connect us across boundaries - be it national, religious or gender boundaries. Elif Shafak is a Turkish writer and the best-selling female novelist in Turkey. She has published novels written in Turkish as well as English, including The Bastard of Istanbul which was longlisted for the Orange prize.

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