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Elif Shafak (Turkish: Elif Şafak, pronounced [eˈlif ʃaˈfak]; born 25 October 1971) is a Turkish-British novelist, essayist, academic, public speaker and women’s rights activist. In English she publishes under the anglicized spelling Elif Shafak.Shafak has taught at different universities around the world, most recently at St Anne’s College of Oxford University. She held the Weidenfeld Visiting Professorship for 2017–2018.
Shafak writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 17 books, 11 of which are novels, including The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love and Three Daughters of Eve. Her books have been translated into 49 languages and she has been awarded the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.She is an activist on women’s rights, minority rights and freedom of speech. She also writes and speaks about a range of issues including global and cultural politics, the future of Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, democracy and pluralism. She is a twice TED Global speaker, a member of the Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). In 2017 she was chosen by Politico among the 12 people that will “give you a much needed lift of the heart”.