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Marketing stories: Writing with faith and reading in search of spirituality in Elif Shafak’s fiction

Gregory Fox, Rachel (2023) Marketing stories: Writing with faith and reading in search of spirituality in Elif Shafak’s fiction. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 59 (3). pp. 362-376. ISSN 1744-9863. (doi:10.1080/17449855.2023.2215487) (KAR id:102090)


This article focuses on the reception of Elif Shafak’s fiction as it circulates within the global literary marketplace, examining the responses of secular and religious readerships in English and Turkish. Taking Shafak’s 2010 novel, The Forty Rules of Love, and her 2016 work, Three Daughters of Eve, as case studies, and referring to media and reader reviews of these books, and public commentary by the author, it evaluates the readerly relationships with spirituality and faith that Shafak constructs as they are emulated by both the readers in her novels and the readers of her novels. In doing so, it asks what reading methodologies Shafak forges in a marketplace that situates books as both stories and products. In the urgent defence of a cosmopolitan ideal, and amidst transcontinental markets and metropoles, this article argues that Shafak puts faith in the potential for conviviality to be fostered by the process of reading.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17449855.2023.2215487
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author(s) has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.
Uncontrolled keywords: Elif Shafak; global literary marketplace; reading; spirituality; cosmopolitanism; Sufism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: Leverhulme Trust (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2023 09:58 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 09:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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