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A Conversation with Elif Batuman on Freshman Awkwardness, Email, and Her Novel The Idiot

Elif Batuman’s debut novel, The Idiot, is a novel about language. Or, more specifically, it’s about language’s inability to communicate feelings or ideas accurately. If that sounds boring or unfunny, then I suppose I’m proving Batuman’s point because The Idiot is rich and comedic; it’s also meandering and wonderfully…

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The Price of Vigilance

In order to get to the women’s bathroom at Radio City Music Hall, you have to pass through an old-fashioned sitting room lined with yellow upholstered sofas and tan leather chairs. Painted onto the walls are murals of ladies in various stages of powdering their noses. It’s a familiar ritual: women helping women get…