'I loved it and could have read a thousand more pages of it' Emma Cline, author of The Girls
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018**
Selin, a tall, highly strung Turkish-American from New Jersey turns up at Harvard with no idea what to expect. What she doesn't expect is:
- How much time she will spend thinking about language and its limitations
- An opinionated cosmopolitan Serb named Svetlana, who will become her confidante
- A mathematician from Hungary called Ivan, whom she will obsess over when she is supposed to be studying
- Feeling dangerously overwhelmed by the challenges and possibilities of adulthood
But most of all, Selin does not expect to embark on a study of precisely how baffling love can be when you are trying to forge a self...
PRAISE FOR THE IDIOT:
'A moving, continent-hopping coming-of-age story' Observer
'Elif Batuman surely has one of the best senses of humour...refreshing and unique' Sheila Heti
'Full of zingy one-liners' Financial Times
'Hilarious, brilliant observations about writing, life and crushes' Curtis Sittenfeld
'Delightful and slyly funny' Red
I loved it and could have read a thousand more pages of it. It presented this almost moment-by-moment experience of life, in a way that I just felt Batuman had so much control. There’s so much wit and pleasure in her writing you feel very comfortable being in the world she’s created.
Elif Batuman is a writer whose byline creates a flutter of anticipation… If a dominant mode of her generation is knowing introspection, she writes with a bewildered outrospection that delights in the bathetic and the absurd… It’s a novel about being young and stupid that’s both wise and clever — and it’s a treat.
Elif Batuman surely has one of the best senses of humour in American letters. The pleasure she takes in observing the eccentricities of each of her characters makes for a really refreshing and unique bildungsroman; one more fascinated with what's going on around and outside the bewildered protagonist, than what s going on inside her.
Each paragraph is a small anthology of well-made observations… Batuman has a rich sense of the details of human attachment and lust.
Beautifully written... a wry, funny coming-of-age story set at the dawn of email among a group of Harvard brainiacs too nerdy and self-involved to even think about sex, drugs and drinking.