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The Gaze by Elif Shafak

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The Gaze by Elif Shafak

A beautiful and compelling novel that considers the damage which can be inflicted by our simple desire to look at others

'I didn't say anything. I didn't return his smiles. I looked at him in the wide mirror in front of where I was sitting. He grew uncomfortable and avoided my eyes. I hate those who think fat people are stupid.'

An obese woman and her lover, a dwarf, are sick of being stared at wherever they go, and so decide to reverse roles. The man goes out wearing make up and the woman draws a moustache on her face. But while the woman wants to hide away from the world, the man meets the stares from passers-by head on, compiling his 'Dictionary of Gazes' to explore the boundaries between appearance and reality.

Intertwined with the story of a bizarre freak-show organized in Istanbul in the 1880s, The Gaze considers the damage which can be inflicted by our simple desire to look at others.

 

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