Elif Shafak on the power of older women and why menopause can be the end of shame

My guest today is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful people I’ve ever interviewed - and I’ve interviewed A LOT. Writer and academic, Elif Shafak has written 19 books and 12 novels and been shortlisted for countless literary prizes, including the Booker Prize. Known for her bravery and outspokenness in the face of oppressive regimes, she has almost 2million followers on social media and is the best-selling female novelist in Turkey - a country to which she has been unable to return for the past 5 years after being put on trial for, amongst other things, insulting Turkishness.


Her latest novel, The Island of Missing Trees, about the partition of Cyprus, is also about love, longing, exile and the environment. I think it might be the most beautiful thing she’s ever written, but you’ll have to judge for yourself.


Elif talks about what home means to her, the importance of freedom and sharing your truth, the two very different women who made her, the importance of lifelong learning and the art of storytelling, and why menopause signals the end of “ayip” (shame). Oh, and being a middle-aged metalhead!


You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including The Island Of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by me!


The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.


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