In 2021, popular Turkish writer Elif Shafak made her literary comeback with The Island of Missing Trees. Her 12th novel, The Island of Missing Trees depicted the turbulent contemporary history of Cyprus through the love story of a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot. It was a love story doomed from the start. a modern Romeo and Juliet. Shafak, a political scientist, has also been known for being critical of local politics and her latest work was no different. For this quotable quote update, I am sharing some lines and passages from this controversial book that has left an impression on me.
Do check out my complete review of this literary work by clicking here.
“A map is a two-dimensianal representation with arbitrary symbols and incised lines that decide who is to be our enemy and who is to be our friend, who deserves our love and who deserves our hatred and who, our sheer indifference. Cartography is another name for stories told by winners. For stories told by those who have lost, there isn’t one.”~ Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees
“Love is the bold affirmation of hope. You don’t embrace hope when death and destruction are in command. You don’t put on your best dress and tuck a flower in your hair when you are surrounded by ruins and shards. You don’t lose your heart at a time when hearts are supposed to remain sealed, especially for those who are not of your religion, not of your languace, not of your blood.”~ Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees
“Because in real life, unlike in history books, stories come to us not in their entirety but in bits and pieces, broken segments and partial echoes, a full sentence here, a fragment there, a clue hidden in between. In life, unlike in books, we have to weave our stories out of threads as fine as the gossamer veins that run through a butterfly’s wings.”~ Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees
“He knew, even back than, that she was prone to bouts of melancholy. It came to her in successive waves, an ebb and flow. When the first wave arrives, barely touching her toes, it was so light and translucent a ripple that you might be forgiven for thinking it insignificant, that it would vanish soon, leaving no trace. But then followed another wave, and the next one, rising as far as her ankles, and the one after that covering her knees, and before you knew it she was immersed in liquid pain, up to her neck, drowning. That’s how depression sucked her in.”~ Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees
“I wish I could have told him that loneliness is a human invention. Trees are never lonely. Humans think they know with certainty where their being ends and someone else’s starts. With their roots tangled and cuaght up underground, linked to fungi and bacteria, trees harbour no such illusions. For us, everything is interconnected.”