Elif Shafak’s How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division

02 December 2019

Wellcome Collection and Profile Books are thrilled to announce the acquisition of HOW TO STAY SANE IN AN AGE OF DIVISION, a short manifesto from award winning novelist and internationally-acclaimed human rights advocate Elif Shafak. Profile Editorial Director Cecily Gayford acquired English Language UK & Commonwealth rights from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.

In HOW TO STAY SANE IN AN AGE OF DIVISION, Shafak argues that twenty years ago, we lived in a time of optimism where it seemed as though fascism had been defeated and liberal democracy had triumphed. Today, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme – we have entered the age of pessimism. In a rallying cry for hopefulness, Elif Shafak explores how writing can nurture democracy, tolerance and progress. Drawing on her own experiences and drawing upon her TED talks, Shafak examines the urgent questions of our time in this passionate plea for hope and truth.

“As the world becomes increasingly polarized, beset with anxiety, anger and tribalism, it’s time for us to turn to the art of storytelling for wisdom, connectivity and much-needed empathy,” says Elif Shafak.    

Cecily Gayford commented:Elif is an extraordinary, inspiring voice even at the best of times – and now, in what has come to feel like it might just be the worst of times, her words are a vital resource for us all. We are extraordinarily proud to be publishing How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division at Wellcome Collection, a book that offers clarity and hope to everyone who reads it.” 

Acting Publisher at Wellcome, Anjali Bulley, said, “We are beyond delighted to be publishing award-winning author Elif Shafak at Wellcome Collection. In this age of uncertainty and misinformation, there is an urgent need for such a voice of clarity and compassion.”

Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019, and her work has been translated into more than fifty languages. An advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak holds a PhD in political science, is an inspiring public speaker and twice a TED global speaker. She has taught at universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people who would make the world better. Shafak was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2019.

HOW TO STAY SANE IN AN AGE OF DIVISION will be published in July 2020 by Wellcome Collection and Profile Books.  

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