Elif Batuman

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Elif Batuman (born in 1977) is an American author, academic, and journalist.[1]


Born in New York City to Turkish parents, she grew up in New Jersey. She graduated from Harvard College, and received her doctorate in comparative literature from Stanford University, where she taught.[2] While in graduate school, Batuman studied the Uzbek language in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Her dissertation, The Windmill and the Giant: Double-Entry Bookkeeping in the Novel,[3] is about the process of social research and solitary construction undertaken by novelists.[1]

In February, 2010, she published her first book, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, based on material previously published in The New Yorker,[4] Harper's Magazine,[5] and n+1,[6][7] which details her experiences as a graduate student. Her writing has been described as "almost helplessly epigrammatical."[2]

She currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey, where she is the writer-in-residence at Koç University.[8]







  1. ^ a b Slate review of "The Possessed"
  2. ^ a b New York Times review of "The Possessed"
  3. ^ I am a doctor.
  4. ^ New Yorker articles
  5. ^ Harper's Magazine articles
  6. ^ n+1 articles
  7. ^ 'The Meaning of Russia', Oxonian Review
  8. ^ Koç University writer-in-residence
  9. ^ Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award recipients
  10. ^ Whiting Writers' Award

External links[edit]