Women Who Blow on Knots

Ece Temelkuran


We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.

Parthian Books
1 May 2023
ISBN: 9781914595530
448 pages

From the publisher

Winner of the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award

Winner of an English PEN Translates Award

Translated from Turkish by Alexander Dawe


‘Temelkuran has zest, and heart, and guts, to spare... a beach-read with brains and bounce’ Boyd Tonkin

‘If you can’t think of a better road story than Thelma and Louise, you should read this novel’ Özlem Ezer

‘A feminist, magic-realist trip through the Arab Spring’ The Spectator


A literary phenomenon in Turkey with more than 120,000 copies sold, Women Who Blow on Knots is an engaging, funny and fast-paced book about four women hitting the road during the Arab Spring.

Three young women and the extraordinary Madam Lilla embark on a road trip from Tunisia to Lebanon as the Arab Spring breaks around them. The novel’s title is taken from a sura in the Koran that warns to beware of those ‘women who blow on knots’ because they do witchcraft.

The women all set out for different reasons but each holds a secret that drives them forward. It is only as they travel further across the desert that Madam Lilla’s dark intentions become clear and their quest begins hurtling towards an unimaginable end.

Unique and controversial in its country of origin for its political rhetoric and atypical Muslim female characters, Ece Temelkuran weaves an empowering tale that challenges us to ponder not only the social questions of politics, religion and women in the Middle East, but also the universal bonds of sister- and motherhood.