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Elif Batuman

Thursday 9th June 2022

Greenside Church, 1b Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5AB
Doors Open
Start Time

**Please note that this event has been moved to the Ukrainian Community Centre.**

Elif Batuman joins us to discuss her new novel Either/Or, the highly anticipated sequel to her acclaimed first novel The Idiot. In Either/Or, we return to the story of Selin, a tall, highly strung Turkish-American from New Jersey who embarks on a degree at Harvard. We are hugely excited to be hosting Elif, who will be travelling over from her home in New York to speak about the book, and do hope you can join us for an evening in excellent literary company.

It’s 1996 and Selin is in her second year at Harvard. The first order of business: to figure out the meaning of everything that happened over the summer. Why did Selin’s elusive crush, Ivan, find her that job in the Hungarian countryside? What was up with all those other people in the Hungarian countryside? Why is Ivan’s weird ex-girlfriend now trying to get in touch with Selin? 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? How does one live a life as interesting as a novel – a life worthy of becoming a novel – without becoming a crazy, abandoned woman oneself?

Guided by her literature syllabus and by her more worldly and confident peers, Selin reaches certain conclusions about the universal importance of parties, alcohol, and sex, and resolves to execute them in practice – no matter the cost. Next on the list: international travel.

Unfolding with the propulsive logic and intensity of youth, Either/Or is a landmark novel by one of our most brilliant writers. Hilarious, revelatory, and unforgettable, its gripping narrative will confront you with searching questions that persist long after the last page.