The Idiot

Marriott Conference Center B presented by Atlanta Pro AV

Saturday, 4:15-5:00

GQ called Elif Batuman's The Idiot: “Easily the funniest book I’ve read this year.” Hear the author talk about this novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.


Elif Batuman

Elif Batuman has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. She is the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a Paris Review Terry Southern Prize for Humor, she also holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Stanford University.


Jeff Calder

Jeff Calder is a musician, producer, and writer living in Atlanta. He is a member of the legendary Swimming Pool Q’s, whose The A&M Years was selected by Rolling Stone as a Top Ten reissue of 2013. His articles have appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Music Magazine and Duke University’s South Atlanta Quarterly. He has also conducted interviews with poets and writers for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Cover-to-Cover radio show.