Elif Şafak ( born 25 October 1971) is a Turkish best-selling female author in Turkey. She has been characterized by critics as continuously and creatively blending Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling to generate a fiction that is both local and universal. Her writing has been defiant of bigotry and xenophobia, deeply involved in feminism, Sufism and Ottoman culture, with "a particular genius for depicting backstreet Istanbul".
In the Forty Rules of Love a story unfolds with two parallel narratives- one contemporary and the other set in the 13th century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, a whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz-that together incarnate the poet's timeless message of love.
The novel illuminates the differences between religion and spirituality and inspiration in the most unlikely of places.