‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’ – Rumi

In her book ‘The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi’, Turkish author, essayist and academic Elif Shafak brought her distinctive blend of the modern and the mystical to bear on a parallel tale of love between a contemporary Sufi and a housewife, and the spiritual link between Rumi and Shams Tabrizi.

Here she talks about Rumi’s philosophy of love and life, as well as her own experience of Sufism and its impact on her work. As she told the Guardian in a recent interview, “Sufism makes you erase what you know, what you are so sure of. And then start thinking again. Not with your mind this time, but with your heart.”

About The Author

Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey. Critics have named her as ‘one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Turkish and world literature’. Her work draws on diverse cultures and literary traditions, as well as deep interest in history, philosophy, Sufism, oral culture, and cultural politics. Shafak’s writing breaks down categories, clichés, and cultural ghettoes. She also has a keen eye for black humour.