The Idiot Elif Batuman



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A moving, continent-hopping coming-of-age story Observer **SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMENS PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018** Selin, a tall, highly strung Turkish-American from New Jersey turns up at Harvard and finds herself dangerously overwhelmed by the challenges and possibilities of adulthood. She studies linguistics and literature, and spends a lot of time thinking about what language – and languages – can and cannot do. Along the way, she befriends Svetlana, a cosmopolitan Serb, and obsesses over Ivan, a mathematician from Hungary. Selin ponders profound questions about how culture and language shape who we are, how difficult it is to be a failed writer, and how baffling love is. At once clever and clueless, Batumans heroine shows us with perfect hilarity and soulful inquisitiveness just how messy it can be to forge a self. I loved it and could have read a thousand more pages of it Emma Cline, author of The Girls

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