Women in the Middle East
Literature Tour 2006


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A tour of women authors, who are interested in exploring the position of women in the Middle East in very insecure situations and political realities.

The authors will be focusing on issues of common concern, in particular human rights issues and atrocities, and the position of women in Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Friday 26th May 7.30pm - ELIF SHAFAK
The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ

The Guardian Hay Festival

Tuesday 30th May 6.00pm - ELIF SHAFAK
Crockatt & Powell Bookshop, 119 Lower Marsh London SE1 7AE

Elif Shafak is one of Turkey's leading novelists. Born in France, having lived in Spain, Jordan, Germany and the US, multiculturalism has been a constant theme in her works. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona.

'Ms Shafak is well set to challenge Mr Pamuk as Turkey's foremost contemporary novelist' The Economist

Shafak has published two novels in the UK, The Flea Palace (shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2005) and The Gaze, which won the Turkish Writers' Association Best Novel of the Year Award in 2001. Both books are available from Marion Boyars Publishers.

She is a columnist for two major Turkish papers and she contributed to various European and American papers, including Berliner Zeitung, The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Praise for The Flea Palace:
'A hyperactive, hilarious trip with farce, passion, mystery and many sidelights on Turkey's past.' The Independent
Åsne Seierstad was born in 1970 and studied Russian, Spanish and the history of Philosophy at Oslo University. She has worked as a war correspondent, first in Russia between 1993 and 1996, then in China in 1997. Between 1998 and 2000 she reported on the war in Kosovo for Norwegian television, and in 2000 she published With Their Backs to the Wall: Portraits from Serbia. In autumn 2001 she spent three months in Afghanistan, reporting for a number of major Scandinavian newspapers. In spring 2003 she reported on the war in Iraq from Baghdad.

Åsne Seierstad has received numerous awards for her journalism. The Bookseller of Kabul is one of the bestselling Norwegian Books of all time, and has been translated into many languages.

Praise for The Bookseller of Kabul:
'A remarkable portrait … Seierstad was fascinated by everything she witnessed, and her curiosity and perceptive eye colours every page' The Independent