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How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division Reviews

How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division by Elif Shafak

How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division

Elif Shafak

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Wellcome Collection
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication date: 11 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9781788165723

A tender, uplifting plea for optimism, Shafak draws on her own memories and delves into the power of stories to reveal how writing can nurture democracy, tolerance and progress. And in the process, she answers one of the most urgent questions of our time.

  • The BooksellerEditor's Choice
5 stars out of 5
Caroline Sanderson
8 May 2020

"she tackles urgent questions of our time in a passionate plea for hope and truth."

In this short but urgent manifesto, the ever-marvellous Turkish author argues that 20 years ago, we lived in a time of optimism where it seemed as though liberal democracy had triumphed. Now, however, we have entered an age of pessimism. In a rallying cry for hopefulness and the power of stories, she explores how writing can nurture democracy, tolerance and progress; and, drawing on her own experiences in this expansion on her Wellcome Prize lecture from the 2019 Hay Festival, she tackles urgent questions of our time in a passionate plea for hope and truth.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Mary Beard
21 Aug 2020

"a sharp and elegant pamphlet"

How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division is a sharp and elegant pamphlet of just 90 pages. Though better known as a novelist (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker last year), Shafak is a political theorist by academic training. Here she combines her two skills, drawing on some of her favourite fictional themes (the complexities of storytelling, multiple identities, women’s voices) to dissect the anger and anxieties of contemporary society, and the disappointments so neatly symbolised by the names of little Facebook and Like.