Writer Elif Batuman speaks at Downey House


I am tripping over myself with excitement because this Friday, May 2nd, the writer Elif Batuman will be on campus for a Writing Programs-sponsored reading. Batuman is the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, as well as numerous journalistic and critical essays for Harper’sThe New Yorker, n+1The London Review of Books, and many other periodicals of renown.

At 4:30 p.m. in Downey House room 113, Batuman will read from her work and offer a brief Q&A. Do not miss the event many have already begun referring to as “the literarary event of the semester” and “likely to be very good.”

You might enjoy this New Yorker piece in which Batuman describes training with three-time Muay Thai boxing world champion and autodidact Bunkerd Faphimai, and writes the sentence, “It was astounding to see these enormous men, in protective helmets and mouth guards and shin guards, flying to all corners like discarded robots while Bunkerd stood in the middle of the ring, cheerfully wiping blood from his nose and displaying no sign of fatigue or ill humor.”

Date: Friday, May 2
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Downey House, room 113
Cost: $0

More selections of Batuman’s writing follow:

For Harper’s, Batuman attempts to determine whether LEO TOLSTOY was murdered.

For The Guardian, Batuman stages a battle between Wes Anderson and circa-2008 Vampire Weekend.

For The New Yorker, Batuman visits a contemporary replica of Peter the Great’s niece’s gigantic ICE PALACE.

For the London Review of Books, Batuman suggests that the MFA you’re considering isn’t what you really want.

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One thought on “Writer Elif Batuman speaks at Downey House


    but clearly her most important literary contribution:
    \It’s difficult to articulate what possessed me, at a later, boozier point in the dinner, to ask Franzen whether he had any weed. In part, I was curious whether he had any. And in part, despite severe fatigue and a mild constitutional dislike of weed, I felt somehow unable not to pursue momentary contact with a half-glimpsed parallel world in which the evening continued in this really different, really mellow way.
    “Wheat?” Franzen’s agent repeated, frowning. “Why would you need wheat?”
    “Not wheat – weed.”
    She stared at me blankly.
    “Weed,” my agent repeated.
    “There’s some in my freezer,” Franzen said. “But it’s all the way uptown.” \

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