Shafak’s ‘10 Minutes’ attempts to represent sex workers but falls short
“10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World” begins with the end. Leila Afi — who had substituted the ‘y’ in her name to the atypical ‘i’ to change ‘yesterday’ for ‘infinity’ — is dead, strewn against a dumpster in an alleyway. Yes, physically her heart stops beating, but her brain hasn’t shut down yet — and it won’t be, not for another 10 minutes and 38 seconds. In those 10 minutes, the readers are taken on a journey into her heart-wrenching past — a past littered with picturesque memories from munching on sugary-sweet wax with Leila’s aunt and mother to much more tragic moments that led to her eventually life as an Istanbul sex worker.
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Book / 9780241293867 / Elif Shafak / June 6, 2019 / 1