There are more and more people, especially women, artists, musicians, and so on, who are deeply interested in this culture. Could you talk about your own spiritual practice and its relation to your creative work? My interest in spirituality started when I was a college student. At the time it was a bit odd for me to feel such an attraction. I did not grow up in a spiritual environment.
My upbringing was just the opposite, it was strictly secular. And I was a leftist, anarcho-pacifist, slightly nihilist, and feminist, and so on, and so were most of my friends, and there was no apparent reason for me to be interested in Sufism or anything like that. But I started reading about it. Not only Islamic mysticism but mysticisms of all kinds, because they are all reflections of the same universal quest for meaning and love. The more I read the more I unlearned. Unlearning is an essential part of learning, in my experience. We need to keep questioning our truths, our certainties, our dogmas, and ourselves.
This kind of introspective thinking, to me, is healthier than criticizing other people all the time. Has that reception differed significantly from how American readers have responded to the book? It was amazing, and so moving. In Turkey the novel was an all time bestseller. There was such positive, warm feedback from readers, especially from women readers, of all ages, of all views. Often the same book was read by more than one person, by the mother, the daughters, the great-aunt, a distant cousin.
The story reached different audiences.
The Forty Rules of Love Reader’s Guide
When the novel came out in Bulgaria, France, America, and Italy, I had similar reactions, and I still receive touching e-mails from readers around the world. In other words they share their personal stories with me. And I find that very humbling, very inspiring. Share: Share on Facebook.
Add to Cart. Did your perception of Rumi and of Shams change in the course of writing about them? How do the two stories relate to and illuminate each other? What are the pleasures of such narrative layering across time and space? How does love shake up their worlds and push them out of their comfort zones? What does the novel suggest about the challenges women faced—particularly in terms of relationships and spiritual aspirations—in medieval Islamic societies?
In what ways does Ella change over the course of the novel? In what ways does Rumi change? Does Ella make the right decision in choosing love and the present moment over security and the future? What would Shams think of her choice?
In what ways are Sweet Blasphemy and The Forty Rules of Love both about the need to break free from conventions and the fear of the opinion of others, the desire for safety, respectability, and security? What instances of defying convention stand out in the novel? What is the price to be paid for going against prevailing opinion?
About the Romance Genre
What is Shafak saying about the personal and imaginative potential of fiction? Have you had similarly transformative experiences from reading novels? What struggles do women face in the Islamic world of Sweet Blasphemy? In what ways do social conventions and religious stricture inhibit the lives of Kerra, Kimya, and Desert Rose the Harlot? What does the novel as whole say about love? Does it espouse a consistent philosophy of the nature, purpose, and value of love?
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Which of the forty rules speak to you most directly? LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Reading Habits Most frequent readers are younger, with half of frequent and very frequent readers aged 34 and below. Tablets and smartphones are the most-used devices to read e-books. Half of romance readers read romantic suspense, followed by erotic and historical as the most popular genres.
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Younger readers read more young adult, erotic, and paranormal romance and less contemporary romance than older readers. One-third of readers searched for new authors in the the past six months. Content is listed as a more important purchase influence than recommendations.
Further Insights The future of romance is the younger emerging readership. These younger readers are: diverse in sexual orientation and in ethnicity more male frequent readers listening to audiobooks reading e-books on smartphones consuming YA, erotic, and paranormal romance shopping at a greater number of online retailers extremely engaged on social media and willing to experiment with new authors Source and Methodology Source: The Romance Book Buyer A Study by NPD Book for Romance Writers of America Methodology Sample of 2, romance book readers Survey fielded in December Quota for gender and age based on nationally representative sample of book buyers who said they were likely to read a romance book in the future Screener question: Do you read romance fiction novels?
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This would include books where 1 there is a central love story and 2 the end of the story is positive. Do not reprint or copy this information in its entirety. Author Survival Guides. Business Center. Working with Booksellers and Librarians. Toshio, Mary and year-old Frank my granddad are released from the Heart Mountain internment camp with travel fare and 25 dollars each because the U. Set in the richly diverse community in and around Berkeley High School, this graphic novel is a sweet, wholehearted ode to on-again-off-again relationships. Frederica Riley Freddy is sure she loves the mesmerizing Laura Dean.
Much of the well-earned emotional power of the story emerges in beautiful silences. But nothing in this city or story feels cold and concrete. Quite the opposite. The lush foliage and plant life bursting from the background, sometimes even overtaking the foreground, suggests that life is growing, even thriving, all around Freddy, and that though the intensity of a relationship can feel all-consuming, affairs of the heart are better served by looking up and seeing what else and who else is around you.
Friends matter. They are not to be sidelined and taken for granted.