Turkish author Elif Shafak nominated for Booker prize

Turkish author Elif Shafak’s new novel “10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World” has been nominated for the prestigious Booker prize this year.

The novel takes its place on the 13-book longlist alongside new novels by two former Booker winners in Canadian author Margaret Atwood, whose 2000 novel “The Blind Assassin” won the prize, and British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, whose 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children” won the prize that year and was awarded the “Booker of Bookers” prize in the competition’s 40th anniversary in 2008.

Shafak’s novel is narrated by a fatally wounded sex worker, who narrates her life history while lying dying in a rubbish bin in Istanbul.

The writer tweeted that she was surprised and deeply honoured by the nomination.

Shafak has been under fire in Turkey for graphic depictions in her novels this year, after social media posts whipped up a furore over obscenity in novels in Turkey.

“In my novels I write about difficult subjects, including sexual harassment, rape and incest because these are major problems in Turkey and novelists cannot be silent on these issues,” Shafak told Ahval.