The Idiot, by Elif Batuman
The hilarious and wildly acclaimed debut novel by n+1 contributor Elif Batuman
With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Elif 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.
Praise for The Idiot
“Easily the funniest book I’ve read this year.”
“The Idiot is wonderful. Batuman, a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of the sparkling autobiographical essay collection The Possessed, has brave and original ideas about what a ‘novel’ might mean and no qualms about flouting literary convention. She is endlessly beguiled by the possibilities and shortcomings of language.”
“Not since Don Quixote has a quest for love gone so hilariously and poignantly awry. This book is a bold, unforgettable, un-put-downable read by a new master stylist. Best novel I've read in years.”
—Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club