Elif Batuman Presents Either/Or, in conversation with Nadja Spiegelman

May 24th, 2022

McNally Jackson Seaport

This event is sold out! If you would like to attend send us an email at events@mcnallyjackson.com. We will add you to the waitlist and let you know if a spot opens up!  

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.


Note that on the night Elif will sign 1-2 books per person. 

We ask that all guests show proof of vaccination and encourage you to wear a mask on the night. 

Elif Batuman's first novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her previous book, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them 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. 



Nadja Spiegelman is the editor-in-chief of Astra Magazine, a new international magazine of literature. She is the author of the memoir I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This, as well as three children's books, including Lost in NYC. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, Newyorker.com, and more.




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