Elif Batuman Thu, Sep 28 2023, 7:30 - 9pm 022 Tate Hall The MU Visiting Writers Series Presents an evening with Elif Batuman. This reading is sponsored by the creative writing program of the Department of English, funded by the John William Proctor Distinguished Visiting Author Endowment, and co-sponsored by the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Much of Elif Batuman’s fiction playfully depicts being a university student in America and abroad. Her first novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2018. Kevin Ngyuen, writing for GQ, referred to it as “easily the funniest book I’ve read all year.” Either/Or, its much-anticipated sequel, was published in 2022. In Vogue, Lauren Mechlin called it “stupendous . . . [A] hilarious follow-up.” Her nonfiction is equally entertaining and brilliant. Her essay collection, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, was praised as “hilarious, wide-ranging, erudite, and memorable” by the New York Times. Batuman is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She publishes essays there and elsewhere about subjects as diverse as Ancient Greek tragedy in the time of COVID, relatives-for-rent in Japan, a village women’s theater company in the Taurus Mountains, and Byzantine shipwrecks unearthed in a Turkish subway site.