book cover of The Idiot
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The Idiot

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book (nominee)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Best Book (nominee)
It is September 1995. Selin, a Turkish-American college freshman from New Jersey, is about to embark on her first year at Harvard University, where she is determined to decipher the mysteries of language and to become a writer. In between studying psycho-linguistics and the philosophy of language, teaching ESL to a Costa Rican plumber, and befriending her classmate Svetlana (a Serbian refugee from Connecticut), Selin falls in love with a Hungarian maths student in her Russian class. She spends the summer in the Hungarian countryside teaching English to village children, where sad and comic misunderstandings ensue. Full of the razor-sharp evocations of character and place that have long delighted listeners, The Idiot tackles literary ambition, female friend-ship, the American dream, Chomskian linguistics, the Russian novel and romantic love.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Elif Batuman surely has one of the best senses of humour in American letters. The pleasure she takes in observing the eccentricities of each of her characters makes for a really refreshing and unique bildungsroman; one more fascinated with what's going on around and outside the bewildered protagonist, than what's going on inside her." - Sheila Heti

"The Idiot is a hilariously mundane immersion into a world that has never before received the 19th Century Novel treatment. An addictive, sprawling epic; I wolfed it down." - Miranda July

"Elif Batuman's novel not only captures the storms and mysteries and comedies of youth but, in its wonderfully sensitive portrait of a young woman adventuring across languages and cultures, it brilliantly draws to our attention a modern politics of friendship. This is a remarkable book." - Joseph O'Neill


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Used availability for Elif Batuman's The Idiot

Hardback Editions

June 2017 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
ISBN: 1-910702-69-2 / 978-1-910702-69-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
ISBN: 1-59420-561-2 / 978-1-59420-561-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
ISBN: 0-09-958317-8 / 978-0-09-958317-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
ISBN: 0-14-311106-X / 978-0-14-311106-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
ISBN: 1-910702-70-6 / 978-1-910702-70-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2017 : Paperback
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Title: The Idiot (Random House Large Print)
Author(s): Elif Batuman
ISBN: 1-5247-5622-9 / 978-1-5247-5622-2
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1900 : USA Paperback
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Title: Idiot the Mrexp
Author(s): Elif Batuman
ISBN: 0-7352-2387-4 / 978-0-7352-2387-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Random House USA Ex
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

June 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


June 2017 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


June 2017 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2017 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon   


March 2017 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2017 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Idiot
Author(s): Elif Batuman
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2017 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Idiot: A Novel
Author(s): Elif Batuman
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA