By Elif Shafak
Genre: Contemporary, historical fiction.
TW: Whorephobia, homophobia, murder, sexual assault, transphobia.
Tequila Leila, a prostitute finds herself murdered in a dumpster one evening. After her heart stops beating, she starts to revisit her lives nondescript moments through her senses. Every minute takes her back to the time that defined her path and to the moments where she met her friends, who do everything in their power to claim her body.
This book is based on the theory which believes that after a body loses life, for 10 minutes and 38 seconds the brain is awake and we revisit some of our moments.
Elif Shafak has always been an advocate of women equality and has been on the tip of controversy for the raw, bold, unabashed portrayal of their blatant discrimination, sexual exploitation. Her books are mostly women orientated which cover the tabooed, contentious subjects about women and LGBT community. This book, particularly talks about the sexual exploitation of the sex workers, flesh trade, unjust laws and fanatic physical assualts, justice for which is mostly inconclusive. She has designed this fictional story through various non- fictional systems and establishments.
I am a huge fan of her books and love her metaphorical, idiomatic expressive writing. Her words are deep and hit hard. This is the forth book by the author that I have read and loved. There are hints of Armenian genocide during WW1 (only one million were accounted), My Lai Massacre in Vietnam in 1968 ( bloodcurdling inhuman killing of unarmed civilians comprising of children, women and old men), shootout at the International Workers’ Day, Istanbul in 1977. Such important historical events always play an important part in her stories.
Compassionate, honest, brave, sensual, this book teaches us the power of friendship and love.