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Elif Batuman discusses The Idiot with Michael Cunningham


Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 | 4,591 views

Elif Batuman reads THE IDIOT at McNally Jackson Books

Elif Batuman discusses her debut novel The Idiot, the difference between objective and subjective writing, and the importance of editing.

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21st Century Narrators at the Brooklyn Book Festival


Monday, September 22nd, 2014 | 6,691 views

21st Century narrators panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival moderated by Christian Lorentzen, with Elif Batuman, Ben Lerner, Christine Smallwood, Lorin Stein

The London Review of Books hosted a panel on 21st Century Narrators at the Brooklyn Book Festival. LRB senior editor Christian Lorentzen moderated Elif Batuman, Ben Lerner, Christine Smallwood, and Lorin Stein in a discussion. Batuman is a non-fiction writer who regularly contributes to The New Yorker and author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them. Lerner is the author of the novels Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04. Christine Smallwood is a columnist for Harper’s Magazine and Lorin Stein is the editor of Paris Review.

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Emily Gould Talks Friendship With Elif Batuman


Friday, July 11th, 2014 | 9,939 views

Emily Gould reads from her new novel, Friendship at McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan

If there is a literary equivalent of a shock-jock radio D.J., it might be Emily Gould, the essayist, memoirist, and blogger known for honest confessionalism, sometimes criticized as bordering on narcissism. Her 2010 collection of personal essays And the Heart Says Whatever earned her a $200,000 advance, and then the book flopped, as she describes in the essay “How Much my Novel Cost Me.” Gould now returns with a new book, the novel Friendship, but the distinction between fictional and nonfictional narrative remains insignificant. Gould pulls inspiration from her own life and that of her close friends creating a story of the friendship of two young women as they bumble through their twenties in New York City. Comparisons have been drawn to Lena Dunham’s Girls, though perhaps without the glitz and glitter of an HBO set. While Dunham’s girls’ blunders transpire across the Disneyland like paradise of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, a romanticized version of an already saccharine sweet world, Gould’s young women, Amy and Bev, find themselves in the distinctly less glamorous if equally expensive brownstone neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

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