Shortlisted for the 2005 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, Elif Shafak's "The Flea Palace" is a moving and highly original novel about a group of individuals who live in the same building and who together become embroiled in a mystery. By turns comic and tragic, "The Flea Palace" is an outstandingly original novel driven by an overriding sense of social justice. Bonbon Palace was once a stately apartment block in Istanbul.
Now it is a sadly dilapidated home to ten wildly different individuals and their families. There's a womanizing, hard-drinking academic with a penchant for philosophy; a 'clean freak' and her lice-ridden daughter; a lapsed Jew in search of true love; and a charmingly naive mistress whose shadowy past lurks in the building. When the rubbish at Bonbon Palace is stolen, a mysterious sequence of events unfolds that result in a soul-searching quest for truth. "Picaresque". ("Guardian"). "Hyperactive and hilarious". ("Independent").
Elif Shafak has emerged as one of the most distinctive voices in both English and Turkish contemporary literature; her novels, "The Bastard of Istanbul", "The Forty Rules of Love", "The Gaze" and "Honour", are consistently at the top of bestseller lists across the globe. Elif Shafak's examination of national identity, "The Happiness of Blond People" is available as part of the "Penguin Specials" series - a digital only series of shorts designed with commuters in mind.