Elif Shafak is one of the most widely read female writers in Turkey. Her recent works include Black Milk and The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi. In her fiction, she balances and delves into the polarities of contemporary life including the tensions between Eastern and Western philosophies, the local and the global. She is also a political scientist who has taught at universities around the world.
"The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practise compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone's back — not even seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouth do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man's pain will hurt us all. One man's joy will make everyone smile."