The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

Hardback

By (author) Elif Batuman

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Format
Paperback $13.15
  • Publisher: GRANTA BOOKS
  • Format: Hardback | 298 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 216mm x 28mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 7 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1847083137
  • ISBN 13: 9781847083135
  • Sales rank: 189,230

Product description

In her brilliant first book Elif Batuman takes the reader on a journey both literary and physical as she traces the evolution of her fascination with Russian literature across the globe and several centuries. This is a deeply funny, fiercely intelligent portrait of the not-always-rational pursuit of knowledge. Though Batuman lavishes attention on the specifics of her passion-and may indeed inspire you to spend the rest of this season holed up with a thick Russian novel-her book is really about the process of learning itself. It's a relatable, absorbing account of what it feels like to be infatuated with ideas, and to let them lead you to ever more weird and wonderful places. Candid and reflective, mischievous and erudite, Batuman writes nimble and passionate essays celebrating the invaluable and pleasurable ways literature can increase the sum total of human understanding.A" Most importantly though, it is really an examination of how we can bring our lives closest to our favourite books.

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Author information

Elif Batuman was born in New York City, grew up in New Jersey, and went to college at Harvard. She completed a PhD in comparative literature at Stanford University in 2007. She currently lives in San Francisco, and teaches at Stanford in the Interdisciplinary Humanities program. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, the London Review of Books, the Guardian, the Nation, and n+1. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and has a cat called Friday.

Review quote

Praise for "The Possessed" “In her comic, poignant, beguiling book, Batuman succeeds marvelously in illuminating her version of love.” —Reese Kwon, "Virginia"" Quarterly Review "“At every step along the way, Batuman’s observations are wonderfully vivid.” —Julia Keller, "Chicago"" Tribune "“Odd and oddly profound . . . Among the charms of Ms. Batuman’s prose is her fond, funny way of describing the people around her . . . Perhaps Ms. Batuman’s best quality as a writer though—beyond her calm, lapidary prose—is the winsome and infectious delight she feels in the presence of literary genius and beauty. She’s the kind of reader who sends you back to your bookshelves with a sublime buzz in your head. You want to feel what she’s feeling.” —Dwight Garner, "The New York Times Book Review "“It’s not surprising that some people never get over these books, and Batuman, for