The Idiot by Elif Batuman (Jonathan Cape, £16.99)
In her acclaimed first book, The Possessed (2010), an unstuffy work of non-fiction about Russian literature, the Turkish-American writer Elif Batuman blurred the boundaries between memoir and criticism.
Her charming new book—a gentle coming-of-age novel drawing on Batuman’s time at Harvard in the mid-1990s—does the same for memoir and fiction.
It’s narrated by Selin, a smart but hesistant linguistics student with a crush on Ivan, a maths major from Hungary who sends her riddling late-night emails.
When she follows him home for the summer…
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