The Idiot: A Novel Summary
Elif Batuman

Everything you need to understand or teach The Idiot by Elif Batuman.

  • The Idiot: A Novel Summary & Study Guide

The Idiot: A Novel Overview

The Idiot, by Elif Batuman, is a novel about falling in love for the first time, told from the perspective of a young Turkish-American student, Selin Karada─č. Beginning her studies of language and literature at Harvard University in the early 1990s, Selin feels like an outsider amongst her peers, but takes comfort in her email correspondence with a young mathematician named Ivan. When Ivan suggests that Selin should spend her summer teaching English in his native Hungary, she takes up the opportunity to be near him, even after she discovers he has a girlfriend and he begins to make it clear that he might not be such good boyfriend material after all. The story deals with themes of literature, language, loss, travel, and the internet.

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