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Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Started to Read Black Milk

The Sufis believe that every human being is a mirror that reflects the universe at large. They say each of us is a walking microcosm. To be human, therefore, means to live with an orchestra of conflicting voices and mixed emotions. This could be a rewarding and enriching experience were we not inclined to praise some members of that inner orchestra at the expense of others. We suppress many aspects of our personalities in order to conform with the perfect image we try to live up to. In this way there is rarely -if ever - a democracy inside of us, but instead a solid oligarchy where some voices reign over the rest.
(Elif Shafak, Black Milk, pages 11 - 12)

I have been very interested to read this book, Black Milk, hoping to better understand such an experience as the one Elif Shafak went through when she gave birth to her first kid. It was a painful experience and in most cases it leaves deep scares in the mother, as well as in the people who love her. I have just started to read the book: has the author liberated herself from that experience by exorcising it in writing? I will see.

It will be the fourth book of Elif Shafak that I read. I had in mind for each book to comment it on the blog; each time I postponed writing my comments as I was eager to read the next one. Maybe this will give me the advantage to consider each book in the perspective offered by the other ones.

What is Elif Shafak? Like any of us she is many things. She is a Turkish writer and an American writer, a Sufi lover and a modern woman, a mother of two kids with the terrible taste of wandering throughout the world: she is a story teller and maybe this explains all the others.

(Elif Shafak)



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