A dramatic, heartbreaking tale of families, love and misunderstanding - longlisted for the Asian Man Booker Prize and The Women's Prize for Fiction.
Twin sisters are born in the mid-1940s in a small Kurdish village on the border of Turkey and Syria. Jamila becomes a local midwife, feared and respected for her healing powers and psychic ability. Her sister, Pembe, marries Adem, and they immigrate to London in the 1970s, hoping to make new lives for themselves and their three children. Bitter and frustrated with his new life, Adem moves out and Iskender, their eldest son, must step in as keeper of the family’s honor. But when Pembe begins to spend time with another man, Iskender will discover that you could love someone with all your heart and yet be ready to hurt them.
A novel filled with “Shakespearian twists and turns, omens and enigmas, prophecies and destinies fulfilled (the Independent), Honor offers a powerful and gripping exploration of guilt and innocence, loyalty and betrayal, and the controversial issue of honor killings as it tragically plays out in one family’s life.
“An enduring story with near-biblical themes... Shafak writes beautifully and maintains a high level of tension.” -
- The New Yorker
“Gripping, tragic, and profoundly heartening... [An] enthralling story that examines the archaic custom of honor killing and questions the very nature of the honor code.”
- Ms. Magazine
“A trenchant, dazzlingly imaginative, suspenseful, mystical, and socially astute novel.” -
A powerful, brilliant and moving account of murder, love and family set in a Kurdish village, Istanbul and London
'An honour killing is at the centre of this stunning novel... Exotic, evocative and utterly gripping.'
- The Times
'The novel jumps back and forth in place and time, from the 1940s to the 1990s, from east to west'
- Financial Times
'lushly and memorably magic-realist... This is an extraordinarily skilfully crafted and ambitious narrative'
'[Elif Shafak] joins writers such as Hanif Kureishi, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Aamer Hussein, Andrea Levy, Hanan al-Shakyh and Leila Aboulela, who offer us fictional glimpses of London's Others.'
- The Independent
Colourfully woven and beguilingly intelligent
- Daily Telegraph
A powerful book; thoughtful, provoking and compassionate
- Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
A gorgeous, jewelled, luxurious book
- The Times
Rich and wide as the Euphrates river along whose banks it begins and ends, Elif Shafak has woven with masterful care and compassion one immigrant family's heartbreaking story - a story nurtured in the terrible silences between men and women trying to grow within ancient ways, all the while growing past them. I loved this book
- Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress
Elif Shafak tells stories of great urgency, heart, and intellectual acuity. Honour is a powerful tale of family connection and heartbreak, offering us insight and delight in equal measure. This is a compulsively readable novel, an exquisite and deep rendering of the fullness of life.
- Aurelie Sheehan, author of The Anxiety of Everyday Objects
“Rich in psychological complexity, [Honor] presents an intricate pattern of events to show how a practice as heinous as honor killing could persist.” —Shelf Awareness
Turkey’s leading female writer, Elif Shafak has won international acclaim for her lyrical blend of Eastern and Western storytelling styles. In this heartbreaking tale of love and misunderstanding, Shafak draws upon the dazzling insight, emotion, and drama that infused The Bastard of Istanbul to explore the controversial issue of honor killings as it tragically plays out in one family’s life.
Twin sisters are born in the mid-1940s in a small Kurdish village on the border of Turkey and Syria. Jamila becomes a local midwife. Pembe marries Adem, and they immigrate to London in the 1970s. Bitter and frustrated with his new life, Adem moves out and Iskender, their eldest son, must step in as keeper of the family’s honor. But when Pembe begins to spend time with another man, Iskender will discover that you could love someone with all your heart and yet be ready to hurt them.
“Shafak writes beautifully and maintains a high level of tension . . . telling an enduring story with near-Biblical themes.” —The New Yorker
“Imaginative, suspenseful, mystical, and socially astute.” —Booklist
• Longlisted for both the Asian Man Booker Prize and for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize)
• Elif Shafak’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages
• Shafak’s TED Talk on “The Politics of Fiction” has received more than 500,000 views to date