TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27 AT 7:00 PM
the idiot by elif batuman
Reading, Signing, Q&A
The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.
A portrait of the artist as a young woman. The Idiot is about not just discovering but inventing oneself.
Elif Batuman has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. She is the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them.
The recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and a Paris Review Terry Southern Prize for Humor, she also holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University. The Idiot is her first novel.