I’m enjoying Elif Shafak’s surreal novel “The Gaze,” which explores beauty, ugliness, and how we distance ourselves from those we’re ultimately connected to.

Wherever a person hurts, that’s where his heart beats. Keramet Mumi Keske Memis Efendi pressed his fingers to his eyes. To no avail. It didn’t stop. His heart beat in his eyes. And suddenly, the pieces were revited together. He found a way to unite women’s suffering with his own suffering. Because everything was dependent on everything else.

(The Gaze, translated by Brendan Freely, p. 43)
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