The Idiot

The Idiot

by Elif Batuman

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

"An addictive, sprawling epic; I wolfed it down.”
—Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man and It Chooses You 

“Easily the funniest book I’ve read this year.”
GQ


A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.


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. 
 
At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan's friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin's summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman's fiction is unguarded against both life's affronts and its beauty--and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.

Named one the best books of the year by Refinery29 Mashable One • Elle Magazine • The New York Times • Bookpage • Vogue • NPR • Buzzfeed The Millions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143111061
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 27,237
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

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. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Read an Excerpt

Fall
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Idiot"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Elif Batuman.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Idiot 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
constructivedisorder 9 months ago
This book is wonderfully written and a great pleasure to read. However, I really, really hope there is a sequel that begins with a too-long postponed consummation. Or perhaps that was the point of the title, for the reader to be left with this final thought about the narrator - "You idiot! Just jump his bones and get it over with. It's not that complicated!" Batuman is an excellent writer and I look forward to her future books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On my device, this book appears to have 339 pages. At page 39, my interest is not piqued, whatsoever. I do not believe the reviews coincide with the substance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters show emotion More than that