From the bestselling author of THE IDIOT


The new novel from the bestselling author of The Idiot follows one young woman's quest for self-knowledge, as she travels abroad and tests the limits of her newfound adulthood.

'Elif Batuman is the queen of the campus novel... Enchanting' Sunday Times


The only one who was born in America and got to go to Harvard. Now it's her second year, and Selin knows she has to make it count. The first order of business: to figure out the meaning of everything that happened over the summer...

On the plus side, her life feels like the plot of an exciting novel. On the other hand, why do so many novels have crazy, abandoned women in them? And how does one live a life as interesting as a novel - a life worthy of becoming a novel - without turning into a crazy, abandoned woman oneself?

'Stupendous... Hilarious... Batuman is a genius' Vogue

'This novel wins you over in a million micro-observations' New York Times

'Searingly smart' Evening Standard


  • Our funniest overthinker - and the queen of the campus novel... Selin is a droll and disarming narrator, and takes her place as one of the finest hapless scholars in the literary canon.
    Johanna Thomas-Corr, Sunday Times

About the author

Elif Batuman

ELIF BATUMAN's first novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. She has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010 and holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University.
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