‘Books Change Lives’ with Elif Shafak

8th March 2022 | News

Please join us for our next Books Change Lives event with award-winning British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak. The live interview and Q&A will take place on Wednesday 30th March, 6-7pm via Zoom.

In our first Books Change Lives event of 2022, Elif Shafak will discuss her approach to writing, her own relationship with reading, and the books that have inspired her throughout her life.

Elif, who is among BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world, will look back at a selection of the books she has written including The Architect’s Apprentice, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, The Forty Rules of Love; and her latest novel The Island of Missing Trees.

The latter, described by Reese Witherspoon as ‘powerful and poignant’ and by Lemn Sissay as ‘an outstanding work of breathtaking beauty’, follows teenagers Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, on a journey of love, trauma and renewal.

‘Shafak evocatively tells the couple’s 40-year love story through a fast-paced narrative that moves between the past and present…the book explores the lasting impact the war had on Cyprus and the natural world – the displacement, the disappearances and destruction – while also revealing the tender efforts of the island to heal and regrow.’ – New Statesman

‘The Island of Missing Trees asks us important questions about losing home, about coping and secrets . . . this is a beautiful novel . . . made ferocious by its uncompromising empathy’  – Guardian, Book of the Day

Tickets and event information

You can get your tickets here.

Through our 2022 Books Change Lives events programme, we are aiming to raise £20,000 to send 10,000 brand new books to people across the world who face the greatest barriers to reading and learning.

We kindly ask that you give an amount of your choice to support our work supplying new up-to-date books for public libraries, community libraries, schools, universities, refugee camps, hospitals and prisons worldwide. These books offer millions of people the opportunity to read, learn and shape their own futures.

£10 could help send 5 brand new books to support a child’s education in Syria. £40 could help send 20 new medical books to under-resourced midwives in Sierra Leone. £100 could send 50 storybooks to a community library in Palestine.

Please note there is a minimum donation amount of £1. Once registered you will receive confirmation of your booking by email and your access link will be sent two hours in advance of the live event, which will be hosted on Zoom. Please email iona.rowland@bookaid.org if you have any issues registering for this event.

About Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist whose work has been translated into 55 languages. The author of 19 books, 12 of which are novels, she is a bestselling author in many countries around the world. Shafak’s novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award; and chosen as Blackwell’s Book of the Year. Her previous novel, The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by the BBC as one of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. In 2021, Shafak’s The Architect’s Apprentice was chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall’s inaugural book club, The Reading Room.


Cover photograph | Elif Shafak © Oliver Hess

With thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for generously supporting this special event.

 Live interview and Q&A with Elif Shafak image

Book your ticket

Book now