10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

by Elif Shafak

Rating: 4 (12 votes)

Tags: Set in Turkey Female author

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

'In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila's consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away . . . ' Our brains stay active for ten minutes after our heart stops beating. For Tequila Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory- growing up with her father and his two wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way - the friends who are now desperately trying to find her.


Read Around The World Challenge user profile avatar for Janine
(1 week ago)
06 Jul, 2024
4.5 stars. Leila’s body lies in a trash bin. She is dead but her brain is still functioning. It is said the brain can continue to work for 10 minutes and 38 seconds and it is in this time that Leila runs through the memory of her life. We are taken from her birth, childhood, and the tragic circumstances of her life that led to her eventual murder.

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