Elif Batuman’s Either/Or is a delightful invitation to reunite with Selin by picking up her adventures where we left off in The Idiot. Now a sophomore at Harvard University, Selin continues to explore, meander and wonder throughout the autumn of 1996, the spring of ’97 and the summer that follows.
The year’s best fiction included a remarkable number of groundbreaking story collections—some deeply interconnected like Oscar Hokeah’s and Jonathan Escoffery’s, others bound mostly by theme and setting, such as Manuel Muñoz’s. We also reveled in several major releases from well-established authors, including Celeste Ng, Ian McEwan, Yiyun Li and Gabrielle Zevin.
Sophomore novels from Hernan Diaz, Namwali Serpell, Douglas Stuart and Elif Batuman surpassed the high bars of their debuts, and first-timers Tess Gunty, Sarah Thankam Mathews and Bonnie Garmus made a hell of a splash.
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