Tag Archives: Elif Batuman

Sozopol Seminars: Creative Nonfiction Edition

The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation (EKF) is holding the 10th annual Sozopol Seminars, with this year’s edition being the first creative nonfiction edition. The program will take place from June 8-12 in the Black Sea town of Sozopol, Bulgaria with a follow-up in Sofia for the events of CapitaLiterature. A truly impressive lineup of lecturers, guests […]

Continue Reading

Bananas for Anna, or the Karenins are about to split

What do Tolstoy, a clothing chain, Elif Batuman and a Hollywood blockbuster have in common? Nothing. But wait, that was before the launching of Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina clothing line to profit from the publicity of the new Tolstoy novel adaptation about to hit the theaters. Elif Batuman gets thrown in there because the LA […]

Continue Reading

Practical application of Russian literature

Yesterday I posted about an article defining the influence of Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilych on the psychological and medical approach to death. It turns out that the usefulness of Russian literature goes beyond the medical profession, as Thomas de Waal points out in an excellent article in Foreign Policy. With a tip […]

Continue Reading

Best Non-Fiction of 2011: a Central and Eastern European roundup

A selection of non-fiction about Central and Eastern Europe noted by critics in the year’s “Best of” lists The best Central and Eastern European non-fiction books of 2011 differ significantly from the fiction in that with only a couple of exceptions they are written about the region in English rather than being from the region […]

Continue Reading

Kurkov, penguins and other monuments of Ukrainian literature

Ten years after it came into print in English I finally overcame my reluctance to read Andrey Kurkov’s Death and the Penguin. So what was holding me back all this time? Honestly it was some of the reviews I read – the ones which talked about how the book provided a convincing portrait of post-Soviet […]

Continue Reading

The literary divide pt. 2 – Europe and the isolationism of American literary debate

There must be something other than pollen in the air, because literary disputes have been both more frequent and more heated than usual: the novel isn’t dead, one earnest article claims, it just happens to be the focus of a rearguard attack by the defenders of privilege. The ongoing debate over the value or worthlessness […]

Continue Reading