The Bastard of Istanbul is a novel by Elif Şafak which explores Turkish and Armenian culture and history; you can read a summary and 9-page excerpt online. One of the questions from the "reading guide" at the above link intrigued me:

What is the significance of naming each chapter after an ingredient of the dessert ashure?

Aşure is a dessert eaten in both Turkey and Armenia (in the latter it is called anuşabur). It appears to have a lot of cultural significance, and it's mentioned explicitly both in The Bastard of Istanbul and in another of Şafak's novels. So I think this question is very interesting and worth exploring. Why are the chapters named after aşure ingredients, and does this tie into the themes of the story?


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