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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Saint of Incipient Insanities is the comic and heartbreaking story of a group of twenty-something friends, and their never-ending quest for fulfillment. Omer, Abed and Piyu are roommates, foreigners all recently arrived in the United States.
Omer, from Istanbul, is a Ph. Gail is American yet feels utterly displaced in her homeland and moves from one obsession to another in an effort to find solid ground. Abed pursues a degree in biotechnology, worries about Omer's unruly ways, his mother's unexpected visit, and stereotypes of Arabs in America; he struggles to maintain a connection with his girlfriend back home in Morocco. Piyu is a Spaniard, who is studying to be a dentist in spite of his fear of sharp objects, and is baffled by the many relatives of his Mexican-American girlfriend, Algre, and in many ways by Algre herself.
Keenly insightful and sharply humorous, The Saint of Incipient Insanities is a vibrant exploration of love, friendship, culture, nationality, exile and belonging. Translated into Turkish: Araf Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published October 1st by Farrar, Straus and Giroux first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Saint of Incipient Insanities , please sign up.
Eye injuries prevents me from reading this book because I can only read on e-books where I can modify the print boldness and size. If anyone hears about this title becoming available on Kindle- please let me know? I love her work and am sad that so many tiles have not been translated to English. See 2 questions about The Saint of Incipient Insanities…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Saint of Incipient Insanities.
Aug 26, Denizhan rated it it was amazing. Well, maybe it's because I am a Turkish student going to college in the United States myself, but I adored this book. The language is not as good as The Bastard of Istanbul; in some points it looks like Elif Safak is a student who just learned some SAT words and using them to show off. Yet of course, this is irrelevant for me, as I fell in love with all the characters of the book and identified myself especially with Omer, the main character.
This novel expresses the feeling of "in between"ness Well, maybe it's because I am a Turkish student going to college in the United States myself, but I adored this book. This novel expresses the feeling of "in between"ness in a wonderful way, culminating in the terrific ending that takes place between two continents.
It should be no surprise that the Turkish name of the book is "Araf" or "purgatory" as all the characters of the novel are experiencing their own purgatories in one way or another. Definitely a must read for anyone who lives or studies out of his motherland. View 1 comment. Jan 23, Kirstie rated it really liked it. See, the thing is that for me, when a book's main character measures the time in his life by the amount of times he's listened to a song esp. It's sort of the same for me when a main character is a photographer.
And when you fall in love with a main character, you end up thinking more highly of the book involved and also.. Then, you have to consider that if every work of ficti See, the thing is that for me, when a book's main character measures the time in his life by the amount of times he's listened to a song esp.
Then, you have to consider that if every work of fiction is somewhat autobiographical, the author has pretty good taste In many ways, it's just as much a book about the immigrant university experience as it is relationships and intimacy, psychosis, and various personalities being thrown in the mix of postmodern soup.
We are past the primordial stages, are we not and no one uses the term premodern because we are always trying to present ourselves as more progressive Alas, I'm diverging from this topic. This book gets a 4 instead of a 5 because I wasn't too thrilled with the ending as much as I wanted to be. It seemed too lucid and made up whereas Omer the main character putting on his headphones to blast The Dead Kennedys or Nick Cave made a whole lot more sense to me.
Oh and totally off topic but from now on, I'm going to refer to myself as a premodern being. I don't think the apocalypse is happening tomorrow. I think the world is going to drift into an endless decay of depression, recession, and global warming. Modern is the time we listen to Nick Cave. Postmodern is the time we wander around clinging to the only wasteland we have left.
Get out your T. Elliot, folks. View all 3 comments. I loved the 2 chapters about Istanbul and I think it saved the book. Anyway the last pages are better than the rest. Not the best book by E. Oct 11, Dustyn Hessie rated it it was amazing Shelves: novel , brilliant , anglointernational , literary , profound , psyche , 2ndsex. In the future I will write an in-depth blog about why this is one of the most amazing novels I've ever read. As for anyone who is torn between whether they should read this or not, I'll be the first to tell you that it is not a novel for everyone.
There are some bold choices of english language usage in this novel: most notably the wide range of "said" substitutes which I think is brilliant ; "cheeped Alegre, "Abed croaked," and the like. There are also several parts where the narrator via Ome In the future I will write an in-depth blog about why this is one of the most amazing novels I've ever read.
There are also several parts where the narrator via Omer's muse will break down the problem with english language learning programs, which is that they thrust rules of grammar and structure on us so much that we began to believe that there is only one way to write and speak english and Omer finds this unjust.
Anyone who loves true-to-the-bone-creative-writing, empty of stereotypes and full of philosophical vastness literature should read this. View 2 comments. Mar 02, Anna Luce rated it really liked it Shelves: good-reads , my-feelings , kindle , reviews , favourite-relationships , favourite-characters , snazzy-titles. This novel is quite un-Shafak-like. Maybe because she wrote this directly in English, or maybe because she wanted to try something different, but the tone and structure of this novel are very 'unique' and differ from other works by Shafak.
I think Shafak must have had a lot of fun writing this book. She experiments with her style, the way language itself sounds and works, testing the limits of what a 'novel' should be like. Her wide ranging vocabulary makes each page rather a lot to take in. At times she could be beautifully articulate and in others she could digress in wordy tangents.
Most of the time however I was entertained by her playful and discursive prose, amused by the long-winded passages on the importance of a character's surname and or the name of an english textbook. The novel doesn't present us with a 'cohesive' storyline, each chapter has a quirky name and what follows is usually connected to it.
Living under the same roof they might share a sense of 'foreignness' but they have rather clashing personalities. There are plenty of weird conversations, bizarre behaviours, and outlandish monologues.
Each character seems to be experiencing some sort of personal crisis , each of them is too wrapped up by their own individual situation to notice that their friends are undergoing similar situations.
In spite of the seriousness of some of their difficulties, such as Alegre's eating disorder, Shafak portrays their plights in a rather humorous manner. Which brings me to the tone of this novel. As mentioned previously, the narrative is playful. Shafak easily moves from city to city, interweaving different conversations and places in the same sentence, and cities and objects have personalities and a point of view of their own.
A lot of the time their actions and or their discussions seem ridiculous. They have these quirky habits, or behave in a peculiar way Gail initially only eats chocolate and bananas The ironic content also reinforces the humorous tone of the novel.
At times, especially when the narrative focused on Alegre and Gail, there is only dark humour. In fact, I would almost call this novel a black comedy.
ISBN 13: 9789753424653
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The Saint of Incipient Insanities
I mentioned that I was reading The Bastard of Istanbul , and after a bit of Googling we worked out she had read it too. I got out my book and found that the English edition had a mosque on the front. As I continued to read, I realised that a pomegranate on the cover really makes more sense. It unlocks the story — the image somehow perfectly illustrates the family secrets bursting to get out. So, why the mosque? In my local book shop recently I noticed that this enigma was not confined to The Bastard of Istanbul.
Araf by Elif Safak
In English, she publishes under the anglicized spelling of her pen-name 'Elif Shafak'. Her books have been translated into fiftyone languages, and she has been awarded Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Shafak is an activist for women's rights, minority rights, and freedom of speech. She also writes and speaks about a range of issues including global and cultural politics, the future of Europe , Turkey and the Middle East , democracy, and pluralism. After her parents' separated, Shafak returned to Ankara , Turkey, where she was raised by her mother and grandmother. Having grown up without her father, she met her half-brothers for the first time when she was in her mid-twenties. Shafak added her mother's first name— Turkish for ' dawn '—to her own when constructing her pen name at the age of eighteen.