"The Idiot" by Elif Batuman

"The Idiot" by Elif Batuman

Having given her first book the same title as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Possessed, Elif Batuman has kept that streak going with her follow-up, but any comparison between the two would be apples and oranges.

In The Idiot, Batuman tells the story of a unique but hardly extraordinary Turkish-American Harvard freshman, and not the tumultuous life of someone like Dostoevsky’s 1868 protagonist, Prince Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin.

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Beyond the Arab Spring, the Fight for Freedom in the Digital Age

Beyond the Arab Spring, the Fight for Freedom in the Digital Age

Six years ago, on January 25, thousands of people descended on Tahir Square in Cairo for a protest that would eventually topple the government and escalate the Arab Spring. On the anniversary of that climacteric demonstration, and in the wake of historic, global women's marches, we take a look at two works that offer some of the past year’s best insights into dictatorship and protest.

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Zero K by Don DeLillo

Zero K by Don DeLillo

At a time when humans are obsessed with the preservation of youth and the prolonging of death, Don DeLillo's latest book tells the tale of those who will and won't wait for nature to take its course.

DeLillo is an undisputed master of the English language and his latest novel, Zero K, is yet another example of his gift. A National Book Award winner and a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, DeLillo is known for his lyrical prose and propensity for heavy subject matter. Themes he has long explored  -- fractured families, death, terrorism, war and technology -- in earlier books like Underworld, White Noise and Libra are all in abundance in his seventeenth novel.

 

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