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Elif Batuman + Yiyun Li
March 23, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Ever since her bestselling collection of essays, The Possessed, was published in 2010, her quirky but highly literary vision of life, literature and language has made readers take notice. A staff writer now for The New Yorker, she has developed a cult-like following, and with the publication of The Idiot, her career reaches an irrepressible crescendo.
The Idiot takes a kind of story that we all think we know well, and turns it completely on its head. Batuman’s novel reminds us that to be American means to be from elsewhere. Our heroine, Selin, is the daughter of Turkish immigrants who have made deep sacrifices so that their daughter may be able to experience all the privileges of the American way of life, in particular, when it comes to her education at Harvard. But the weight of that expectation does not sit lightly. “This book is a bold, unforgettable, un-put- downable read by a new master stylist,” Mary Karr wrote, “Not since Don Quixote has a quest for love gone so hilariously and poignantly awry.”