Elif Shafak is Turkey's most-read and popular woman writer and an award-winning novelist. She writes in both English and Turkish, and has published 13 books, nine of which are novels, including: The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, Honour and her non-fiction memoir Black Milk. Her books have been translated into more than forty languages.

Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the voices of women, minorities, subcultures, immigrants and global souls. Defying cliches and transcending boundaries her works draws on different cultures and cities, and reflects a strong interest in history, philosophy, culture, mysticism, Sufism and gender equality.

Shafak is also a political commentator. She has written for several international daily & weekly publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times, Die Zeit, La Repubblica and The Independent. She is a popular TED speaker, a regular presenter at the World Economic Forum and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations).

She has received many honours and awards including Ambassador of Culture Action Europe Campaign, 2010 and Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Lettres. She sat on the 2013 judging panel for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and in 2014 on the judging panel of the Sunday Times Short Story Award.