The Happiness of Blond People: A Personal Meditation on the Dangers of Identity

The Happiness of Blond People: A Personal Meditation on the Dangers of Identity

by Elif Shafak

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Overview

The Happiness of Blond People by bestselling, multi-award-winning novelist Elif Shafak, author of The Bastard of Istanbul, is a powerful essay on immigration, multiculturalism and the experience of Muslims in Europe - available only as a Penguin Short.

"You know, I never understand. How come their children are so quiet and well disciplined?"
"Yeah," said the distressed father, his voice suddenly softer. "Blond children never cry, do they?"

As Elif Shafak stands in line at the airport, she overhears a Turkish father expressing to a friend his bewilderment at the cultural differences he's experienced since immigrating to northern Europe. Is it true, she wonders, that the citizens of these countries are genuinely happier? Why do people leave their homes for other countries? And what lessons can we all learn, for the creation of truly harmonious societies, from the experiences of immigrants?

In the light of the recent backlash against multiculturalism and the influx of millions of Muslims into Europe from the east, this powerful and personal essay uses the lived experience of immigrants to examine this most hotly debated subject.

Elif Shafak is the acclaimed author of the award-winning The Gaze and The Bastard of Istanbul and is the foremost female author in Turkey. She is a contributor for the Telegraph, Guardian and The New York Times and her TED talk on the politics of fiction has received over 300,000 views since July 2010. She is the recipient of nine prestigious international honours and awards including the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, long-listing for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Maria Grazia Cutuli Award. She is married with two children and divides her time between Istanbul and the UK.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670921768
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication date: 12/01/2011
Series: Penguin Specials
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 64
File size: 103 KB

About the Author

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into fifty languages. 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. She is a member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). An advocate for women's rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice a TED global speaker, each time receiving a standing ovation. Shafak contributes to many major publications around the world and she has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people who would make the world better. She has judged numerous literary prizes and is chairing the Wellcome Prize 2019. Find out more about Elif Shafak on her website: www.elifshafak.com

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