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The idiot / Elif Batuman.

Batuman, Elif, 1977- author. (Author).
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Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Breckenridge Public Library BAT (Text) 33500012456844 Main Available -
Moorhead Public Library BAT (Text) 33500012456836 Main Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781594205613 (hardback)
  • ISBN: 1594205612 (hardback)
  • Physical Description: pages cm
  • Publisher: New York City : Penguin Press, 2017.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.: "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"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2017 February #1
    *Starred Review* Batuman, winner of a Whiting Award and The Paris Review's Terry Southern Prize for Humor, lifted a title from Dostoevsky for her first book, the superb essay collection, The Possessed (2010). She does it again with her debut novel, a droll, semiautobiographical tale set in 1995 and narrated by a high-strung freshman at Harvard. A tall Turkish American from New Jersey, Selin is at once enthralled and frustrated by language, while finding mundane aspects of life indecipherable. She takes a mishmash of classes; struggles to tutor adults trying to earn their GED; becomes friends with Svetlana, a cosmopolitan Serb; and obsesses over Ivan, a Hungarian mathematics major. Selin feels dangerously overwhelmed, yet declares, "I wanted to be unconventional and say meaningful things." Ivan is similarly disassociated from the norm, and the two conduct a hilariously cryptic courtship that culminates with Selin spending the summer teaching English in a Hungarian village and enduring a sequence of alarming excursions. Batuman's brainy, polymorphously curious innocent, her "idiot," ponders profound questions about how culture and language shape feelings and experiences, how differently men and women are treated, and how baffling love is. Selin is entrancing—so smart, so clueless, so funny—and Batuman's exceptional discernment, comedic brilliance, and soulful inquisitiveness generate a charmingly incisive and resonant tale of the messy forging of a self. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

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.

Subject: Women college students > Fiction.
Turkish Americans > Fiction.
Identity (Psychology) > Fiction.
Coming of age.
FICTION / Literary.
FICTION / Coming of Age.
FICTION / Contemporary Women.
Coming of age.
Identity (Psychology)
Turkish Americans.
Women college students
Genre: Psychological fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Search Results Showing Item 1 of 1 Preferred library: Lake Agassiz Regional Library?

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