Book Event


Elif Shafak

The Island of Missing Trees

In conversation with Lennie Goodings
Weds 15th Sept 2021, 7-8pm

Robert Graves Tent


'One of the best writers in the world today' Hanif Kureishi

Award winning and Booker shortlisted author Elif Shafak makes a welcome return to BookFest to discuss her latest novel, The Island of Missing Trees, a magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, and nature and renewal.

Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. The taverna is the only place that Kostas and Defne can meet in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams and in the centre, growing through a cavity in the roof, a fig tree, which observes their hushed conversations. The novel traces the two lovers’ paths and, almost miraculously, years later, the fig tree in their London garden is their daughter Ada’s only knowledge of a home she has never visited, as she seeks to untangle years of secrets and silence and find her place in the world.

Join Elif Shafak in conversation as she considers how the power of human connection to others, and to the earth, can eventually overcome the trauma of conflict and destruction and the isolation of division. In our globally connected but disparate world Shafak invites us to look to hope and the power of kindness and explores the necessity for forgiveness to move forward.

Lennie Goodings is Chair of Virago Press. Her authors include, among many others, Sarah Waters, Maya Angelou, Eileen Atkins, Natasha Walter, Linda Grant, Susie Boyt, Margaret Atwood, Marilynne Robinson — and Joan Bakewell. Her book, A Bite of the Apple: A Life with Books, Writers and Virago was published in 2020 by OUP. She won The Bookseller’s Industry Award for Editor and Imprint of the Year (a Nibbie) in 2010, A Lifetime's Achievement at WOW, London's Southbank Women of the World festival in 2018 and was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2020.

A copy of The Island of Missing Trees is included in the ticket price (RRP: £14.99).

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