Elif Batuman

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

Early life[edit]

Elif Batuman was born in New York City to Turkish parents, and grew up in New Jersey. She graduated from Harvard College, and received her doctorate in comparative literature from Stanford University.[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 she 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]

Batuman was writer-in-residence at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey [8] from 2010 to 2013. Now she lives in New York.[9]




  • Two Rivers. Carolyn Drake, self-published, 2013. ISBN 978-0-615-78764-0. Edition of 700 copies. By Carolyn Drake. Accompanied by a separate book with a short essay by Batuman and notes by Drake.




  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. ^ "Department of English Language and Comparative Literature - Elif Batuman". Koç University. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  9. ^ Bio of Elif Batuman, New Yorker contributors page.
  10. ^ Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award recipients
  11. ^ http://www.whiting.org/awards/winners/elif-batuman

External links[edit]