The Flea Palace
Bonbon Palace was once a stately apartment block in Istanbul. Now it is a sadly dilapidated home to ten wildly different individuals and their families. There's a womanizing, hard-drinking academic with a penchant for philosophy; a 'clean freak' and her lice-ridden daughter; a lapsed Jew in search of true love; and a charmingly naïve mistress whose shadowy past lurks in the building. When the trash at Bonbon Palace is stolen, a mysterious sequence of events unfolds that result in a soul-searching quest for truth. By turns comic and tragic, this is an outstandingly original novel driven by an overriding sense of social justice.
Shafak can switch from a picaresque tale of father and son to astute observations of despair and love without pausing. -- The Guardian, August 28, 2004
The weave of narratives about the residents...has picaresque charm that blends the quotidian with a touch of magic realism. -- The Independent, June 25, 2004
From the Back Cover
Shafak uses the narrative structure of A Thousand and One Nights to construct a story-within-a-story, as the mystery of the apartments' stolen garbage is considered from a variety of perspectives....