The Book Club Pune

The Book Club Pune met on Sunday, august 30th to discuss 10 minutes 38 seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak.

Read on to know what Sunita Shetty, a regular patron and presenter at The Book Club thought about the discussion.

Mohini Khot took The Book Club through an in-depth review of Elif Shafak’s latest book – 10 minutes 38 seconds in This Strange World on Sunday 30th August. She began by giving insights into the author’s life, her books, her views on feminism. Mohini began the book review by reading the first few pages of the book to introduce Elif Shafak’s style of writing. 

She then introduced the listeners to the characters and the story line. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World is all that remains in the life of Tequila Leila, a sex worker who has been murdered, her body unceremoniously dumped in a rubbish bin in Istanbul. As her brain shuts down, Leila recalls her life in its entirety. These recollections – covering her entire life, the family who disowned her and the friends who came to be her greatest support, play out in Istanbul. We were taken through her birth and childhood in the house of well-to-do tailor Haroun, who has been waiting a long time for a male child from his two wives. Leila is a free spirited girl and when she is six, her uncle sexually assaults her multiple times and this turns out to be the pivot around which young Leila’s life turns. 

Mohini did a wonderful job of laying out the intricate storytelling of the trauma that women are subjected to in a patriarchal society, for the listeners. There was a rich discussion that followed where the listeners spoke about current day society in Turkey and the political and social changes over the last few years. Elif Shafak’s writing style and her other books were also spoken about. All in all, a wonderful review of a deeply sensitive book.