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Three Daughters of Eve – Elif Shafak



  • “Time, like a skillful tailor, had seamlessly stitched together the two fabrics that sheathed Peri’s life: what people thought of her and what she thought of herself.”
  • “God, a simple word with an obscure meaning. God, close enough to know everything you did- or even considered doing – yet impossible to reach.”
  • “God was a maze without a map, a circle without a centre, the pieces of jigsaw puzzle that never seemed to fit together. If only she could solve this mystery, she could bring meaning to senselessness, reason to madness, order to chaos, and perhaps, too, she could learn to be happy.”
  • “He was advised to give up drinking and to stay away from stress- as if stress were an obnoxious relative one could simply stop inviting to dinner.”
  • “Whether men or women, it was always people with rough journeys in their pasts, uncertainty in their eyes and invisible wounds in their souls that intrigued her.”
  • “Maybe,but I don’t want an extra skin. I touch the flame, I burn; I hold ice, I’m cold. The world is what it is. We’ll all die. What’s the point of safety in crowds? We are born alone, we die alone.”
  • “I said to myself, sin in the eyes of Allah is worse than shame in the eyes of neighbors, so I carried on.”
  • “In many parts of the world you were what you said and what you did and, also, what you read; in Turkey, as in all countries haunted by questions of Identity, you were, primarily, what you rejected.”
  • “Like it or not, this is the century of tigers. Sure, they won’t love you if you’re a tiger. But they’ll fear you, and that’s what matters.”
  • “There are two ways of dealing with melancholy. You either sit in the driver’s seat and step on the gas while Mr Depression screams his head off at the back. Or you let him do the driving, and he frightens you instead.”
  • “There was a box inside the part of the brain that stored memory – a music box, it’s enamel paint chipped, it’s notes that of a haunting melody. Stashed away in it were all the things that the mind neither wanted to forget nor dared to remember. At moments of stress or trauma, or perhaps for no apparent reason, the box snapped open and all its contents scattered about. This was what she felt was happening to her tonight.”
  • “Truth is so rare a thing; it is delightful to tell it.”
  • “That guy doesn’t teach God. He believes he is God.”
  • “Speculation without knowledge is self- indulgent twaddle.”
  • “There is something about love that resembles faith. It’s kind of blind trust isn’t it? The sweetest Euphoria. The magic of connecting with a being beyond our limited, familiar selves. But if we get carried away by love – or by faith it turns into a dogma, a fixation. The sweetness becomes sour. We suffer in the hands of the gods that we ourselves created.”