Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Bastard of Istanbul

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

This is the book that my book club is reading this month. I think it's a good book club book because there is plenty to discuss.

This is the story of a Turkish family living in Istanbul and an Armenian American living between Arizona and San Francisco. There is a Turk living in America, Armenians living in America, an Armenian living in Istanbul and a woman from Kentucky who was married to an Armenian and then a Turk.

The story intertwines all their lives in our modern world but also shows how the past affects us all.

It was interesting to see the difference in attitude between the Armenian in Istanbul and the Armenians in the diaspora a.k.a. America. It was also interesting to see how modern Turks sympathized with the plight of the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide cir.1915-1923 but they felt no link between themselves and the Turkish perpetrators.

This was an entertaining novel and it brought to life issues of ethnicity in America, feelings of disconnect that children of immigrants can have in America as well as personifying the Genocide.

I would recommend this book.

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