In this lyrical, exuberant tale, acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak, author of «The Island of Missing Trees» (a Reese’s Book Club Pick), incarnates Rumi’s timeless message of love
«The Forty Rules of Love.» unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz—that together explore the enduring power of Rumi’s work.
Ella Rubenstein is forty years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment is to read and report on «Sweet Blasphemy», a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. Ella is mesmerized by his tale of Shams’s search for Rumi and the dervish’s role in transforming the successful but unhappy cleric into a committed mystic, passionate poet, and advocate of love. She is also taken with Shams’s lessons, or rules, that offer insight into an ancient philosophy based on the unity of all people and religions, and the presence of love in each and every one of us. As she reads on, she realizes that Rumi’s story mirrors her own and that Zahara—like Shams—has come to set her free.
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Penguin Books, 2011
14 x 21 cm / 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Literary Fiction - Historical - Love
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and a champion of women’s rights and freedom of expression. Her books have been translated into fifty-five languages. Her novels include «The Bastard of Istanbul», «The Forty Rules of Love», «The Architect’s Apprentice», «Three Daughters of Eve», «10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World», which was a finalist for the 2019 Booker Prize, and, most recently, «The Island of Missing Trees», which is a November 2021 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick. She is also the author of a memoir, «Black Milk: On the Conflicting Demands of Writing, Creativity, and Motherhood». An active political commentator, columnist, and public speaker, she lives in London.