The Island of Missing Trees: A Novel

By: Elif Shafak

695.00

SKU: 2168 Categories: , Tag:
Print Length
336
ISBN
9781635578591
Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
Imprint
NA
Year Published
2021
Format
Paperback

About the Author

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 55 languages. Her latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and chosen as Blackwell's Book of the Year. Her previous novel, The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. Shafak has been conferred Doctor of Humane Letters by Bard College in 2021. Shafak holds a PhD in political science, and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker; she contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Description

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place: it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows.
In the centre of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart.

Praise for the book

“A wise novel of love and grief, roots and branches, displacement and home, faith and belief. Balm for our bruised times.” ―David Mitchell, author of UTOPIA AVENUE “Trees, here, grow through the lives of these unforgettable characters, becoming bearers of memory, makers of metaphor and witnesses to atrocity. Shafak has written a brilliant novel - one that rings with her characteristic compassion for the overlooked and the under-loved, for those whom history has exiled, excluded or separated. I know it will move many readers around the world, as it moved me.” ―Robert McFarlane, author of UNDERLAND “This is an enchanting, compassionate and wise novel and storytelling at its most sublime. Though rooted in bloody atrocity it sings to all the senses.” ―Polly Samson, author of A THEATRE FOR DREAMERS “A wonderfully transporting and magical novel that is, at the same time, revelatory about recent history and the natural world and quietly profound.” ―William Boyd, author of TRIO “An excruciatingly tender love story that transcends cultures, generations and, most remarkably, species. A transformational book about our arboreal relatives, to be cherished and savoured.” ―Naomi Klein, author of ON FIRE “A beautiful and magical tale infused with love. Stunning.” ―Ruth Jones, author of US THREE “At once intimate in tone and ambitious in its reach, The Island of Missing Trees is a novel that moves with the urgency of a mystery as it uncovers the story of lovers divided first by war and then, after they are reunited and have a child, by that same war's enduring psychic wounds. But there is tenderness and humor in this tale, too, and the intense readerly pleasures of a narrative that dances from the insights of ecological science to Greek myth and finally to their surprising merger in what might be called-natural magic.” ―Siri Hustvedt, author of MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE “A beautiful novel about the broken island of Cyprus and its wounded and scarred inhabitants, The Island of Missing Trees teaches us that brokenness can only be healed by love.” ―Bernhard Schlink, author of OLGA “An outstanding work of breathtaking beauty.” ―Lemn Sissay Obe “Shafak makes a new home for us in words.” ―Colum McCann “One of the best writers in the world today.” ―Hanif Kureish “A work of brutal beauty and consummate tenderness.” ―Simon Schama, on 10 MINUTES 38 SECONDS IN THIS STRANGE WORLD
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The Island of Missing Trees: A Novel

Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for each other. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree is there when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, and when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns. He is a botanist looking for native species, but really, he’s searching for lost love.
Years later a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. This tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited— her only connection to her family’s troubled history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world.
A moving, beautifully written, and delicately constructed story of love, division, transcendence, history, and eco-consciousness, The Island of Missing Trees is Elif Shafak’s best work yet.

About the Author

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 55 languages. Her latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and chosen as Blackwell's Book of the Year. Her previous novel, The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. Shafak has been conferred Doctor of Humane Letters by Bard College in 2021. Shafak holds a PhD in political science, and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker; she contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Description

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place: it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows.
In the centre of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart.

Praise for the book

“A wise novel of love and grief, roots and branches, displacement and home, faith and belief. Balm for our bruised times.” ―David Mitchell, author of UTOPIA AVENUE “Trees, here, grow through the lives of these unforgettable characters, becoming bearers of memory, makers of metaphor and witnesses to atrocity. Shafak has written a brilliant novel - one that rings with her characteristic compassion for the overlooked and the under-loved, for those whom history has exiled, excluded or separated. I know it will move many readers around the world, as it moved me.” ―Robert McFarlane, author of UNDERLAND “This is an enchanting, compassionate and wise novel and storytelling at its most sublime. Though rooted in bloody atrocity it sings to all the senses.” ―Polly Samson, author of A THEATRE FOR DREAMERS “A wonderfully transporting and magical novel that is, at the same time, revelatory about recent history and the natural world and quietly profound.” ―William Boyd, author of TRIO “An excruciatingly tender love story that transcends cultures, generations and, most remarkably, species. A transformational book about our arboreal relatives, to be cherished and savoured.” ―Naomi Klein, author of ON FIRE “A beautiful and magical tale infused with love. Stunning.” ―Ruth Jones, author of US THREE “At once intimate in tone and ambitious in its reach, The Island of Missing Trees is a novel that moves with the urgency of a mystery as it uncovers the story of lovers divided first by war and then, after they are reunited and have a child, by that same war's enduring psychic wounds. But there is tenderness and humor in this tale, too, and the intense readerly pleasures of a narrative that dances from the insights of ecological science to Greek myth and finally to their surprising merger in what might be called-natural magic.” ―Siri Hustvedt, author of MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE “A beautiful novel about the broken island of Cyprus and its wounded and scarred inhabitants, The Island of Missing Trees teaches us that brokenness can only be healed by love.” ―Bernhard Schlink, author of OLGA “An outstanding work of breathtaking beauty.” ―Lemn Sissay Obe “Shafak makes a new home for us in words.” ―Colum McCann “One of the best writers in the world today.” ―Hanif Kureish “A work of brutal beauty and consummate tenderness.” ―Simon Schama, on 10 MINUTES 38 SECONDS IN THIS STRANGE WORLD
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