9th Ave: Elif Batuman with Rachel Khong

Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 7:00pm

Cover of Elif Batuman's Either/Or. The cover has a light yellow background, and "Either/Or" is written in two columns multiple times down the cover. There is a red light going between some of the words, like a maze, and ends as an arrow pointing to the words "A Novel" written in red.
Join us on Thursday, June 2 at 7pm PT when Elif Batuman celebrates her novel, Either/Or, with Rachel Khong at 9th Ave!
Presented in partnership with The Ruby

Masks and Proof of Vaccination Required

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Praise for Either/Or
“The joys of Batuman’s fiction lie . . . in Selin herself—her lively voice, her comic observations, and her marriage of literature and philosophy with the potentially oppressive banality of undergraduate life.” —Claire Messud, Harper’s

“Effervescent . . . Observant, defiant, and newly on antidepressants, Selin approaches the mystery of human relations with a beginner’s naivete and sharp intelligence . . .  Batuman’s light touch and humor are brought to bear on serious questions . . . As accomplished as The Idiot was, this improves upon it, and Batuman’s already sharp chops as a novelist come across as even more refined in these pages. Readers will be enraptured.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In 2018, Elif Batuman’s witty campus novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. . . . Now, Batuman returns with a sequel, Either/Or, that picks up during Selin’s just-as-messy sophomore year. Expect a master course in snappy social observation.” TIME, “The 21 Most Anticipated Books of 2022”

About Either/Or
From the acclaimed and bestselling author of The Idiot, the continuation of beloved protagonist Selin’s quest for self-knowledge, as she travels abroad and tests the limits of her newfound adulthood.

Selin is the luckiest person in her family: the only one who was born in America and got to go to Harvard. Now it’s sophomore year, 1996, and Selin knows she has to make it count. The first order of business: to figure out the meaning of everything that happened over the summer. Why did Selin’s elusive crush, Ivan, find her that job in the Hungarian countryside? What was up with all those other people in the Hungarian countryside? Why is Ivan’s weird ex-girlfriend now trying to get in touch with Selin? On the plus side, it feels like the plot of an exciting novel. On the other hand, why do so many novels have crazy abandoned women in them? How does one live a life as interesting as a novel—a life worthy of becoming a novel—without becoming a crazy abandoned woman oneself?

Guided by her literature syllabus and by her more worldly and confident peers, Selin reaches certain conclusions about the universal importance of parties, alcohol, and sex, and resolves to execute them in practice—no matter what the cost. Next on the list: international travel.

Unfolding with the propulsive logic and intensity of youth, Either/Or is a landmark novel by one of our most brilliant writers. Hilarious, revelatory, and unforgettable, its gripping narrative will confront you with searching questions that persist long after the last page.

About Elif Batuman
Elif Batuman
’s first novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK. She is also the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. She has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010 and holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University.

About Rachel Khong
Rachel Khong grew up in Southern California, and holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Florida. From 2011 to 2016, she was the managing editor then executive editor of Lucky Peach magazine. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in JoylandAmerican Short FictionThe San Francisco ChronicleThe Believer, and California Sunday. She lives in San Francisco.

Either/Or By Elif Batuman Cover Image
Temporarily Unavailable
ISBN: 9780525557593
Published: Penguin Press - May 24th, 2022

An instant New York Times bestseller!

A New York Times Notable Book of 2022

“Batuman has a gift for making the universe seem, somehow, like the benevolent and witty literary seminar you wish it were . . .This novel wins you over in a million micro-observations.” —The New York Times

Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel By Rachel Khong Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250182555
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Picador - July 10th, 2018

Winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for First Fiction

"A quietly brilliant disquisition . . . told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I found myself thinking about Khong's turns of phrase for days after I finished reading."—Doree Shafrir, The New York Times Book Review

The Idiot: A Novel By Elif Batuman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143111061
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Penguin Books - February 13th, 2018

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book • Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction • Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

“Easily the funniest book I’ve read this year.” —GQ

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