The Idiot - Elif Batuman

Staff Pick

There are plenty of coming-of-age novels in which intelligent young women wrestle with their sexuality, or identity, or demons. The Idiot is the first novel I've ever read in which an intelligent young woman wrestles with her own intelligence. Selin, the protagonist, has complex friendships and a love interest and so on, but at its heart, The Idiot is about Selin observing her own relationship with language. Not surprisingly, Batuman’s language is itself a treat—sly and playful, Wodehouse-funny, as smart as I’ve ever read. Selin starts the novel with the Socratic knowledge that she knows nothing, but by the end of The Idiot, I knew one thing: I want to read every book Elif Batuman writes, and in the meantime, I’m already excited to reread this one.

The Idiot Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594205613
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - March 14th, 2017

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