How does nature remember and carry the trauma of war and loss? In The Island of Missing Trees master British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak tells the story of Kostas who is Greek and Defne who is Turkish and the love that they must keep secret. When war breaks out on Cyprus the lovers are divided and the consequences of loss, separation and violence reveal themselves in present-day London where survivors, including a remarkable fig tree, continue to tell their story.
Join one of the world’s most acclaimed writers and our own Whiti Hereaka for an hour on the profound nature of love, destruction and renewal.
He wairua tō te whenua, e mau ana te whenua ki ngā kōrero, ki ngā mamae, ki ngā mauāhara katoa I tū ki runga ki a ia, koina te tāhuhu kaupapa mō ēnei kōrero a Elif Shafak.
Elif Shafak | Turkey / United Kingdom
Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels. She is a bestselling author in many countries around the world and her work has been translated into 55 languages. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and was Blackwell’s Book of the Year. The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among the 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. The Architect’s Apprentice was chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall’s inaugural book club, The Reading Room. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She also holds a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bard College.
Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. She was a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. Shafak has judged numerous literary prizes, including PEN Nabokov prize and she has chaired the Wellcome Prize. Recently she was awarded the Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize for her contribution to 'the renewal of storytelling.'
Whiti Hereaka | Aotearoa / New Zealand
Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi, Pākehā) is an award-winning novelist and playwright. She holds a Master’s in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She is the author of three novels: The Graphologist’s Apprentice, and the award-winning YA novels Bugs and Legacy. In 2019, Legacy won the New Zealand Children and Young Adults Book Award for YA fiction. She is also co-editor, with Witi Ihimaera, of an anthology of Māori myths, Pūrākau, published in 2019. Whiti teaches Writing for the Young at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University.