Bettany Hughes and Elif Shafak: Tales of Istanbul

Bettany Hughes and Elif Shafak Tales of Istanbul, image courtesy Susannah Stevenson

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Two authors explore their fascination with Turkey’s unique capital

Bettany Hughes, who has recently completed a meticulously researched new history Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities, is in conversation with Elif Shafak, whose new novel Three Daughters of Eve is a powerful, sweeping tale of faith, love and friendship set across Istanbul and Oxford.

Istanbul, Byzantim, Constantinople, or just ‘The City’ – this place of many names stands at the gateway between the East and West, has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. Phoenicians, Genoese, Venetians, Jews, Vikings, Azeris all once called a patch of this earth their home. But how does this history shape, influence and inspire contemporary narratives of Istanbul – both fictional and historical?

Join Bettany Hughes and Elif Shafak in conversation as they navigate and narrate Istanbul’s historical streets. Chaired by critic, broadcaster and comedian Viv Groskop.

Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster whose meticulously researched new history Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities is published in January 2017. Her previous books – Helen of Troy, Goddess, Princess, Whore and The Hemlock Cup and Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life – were published to great critical acclaim and worldwide success. Hughes has made a number of factual films and documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, The History Channel and ABC. She is a Research Fellow of King's College London and has been honoured with numerous awards including the Norton Medlicott Medal for History.

Elif Shafak is the acclaimed author of nine novels including The Bastard of Istanbul, The Architect's Apprentice and Honour, and is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her work has been translated into over forty languages and she regularly contributes to publications including The New York Times, the Guardian and Time magazine. Elif has been long-listed for the Orange Prize, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Her latest novel, Three Daughters of Eve, is published in February 2017.


Name: Bettany Hughes and Elif Shafak: Tales of Istanbul
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Price: Full price: £12.00
Member: £12.00
Senior 60+: £10.00
Student: £8.00
Registered Unemployed: £8.00
Under 18: £8.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546