From the bestselling author of THE IDIOT

Elif Batuman author


Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:26th May '22


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

This hardback is available in another edition too:

Either/Or cover


The only one who was born in America and got to go to Harvard. Now it's her second 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 ex-girlfriend now trying to get in touch with her?

On the plus side, her life 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 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.

Our funniest overthinker - and the queen of the campus novel... Selin is a droll and disarming narrator, and takes her place as one of the finest hapless scholars in the literary canon. -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * Sunday Times *
Batuman has a gift for making the universe seem, somehow, like the benevolent and witty literary seminar you wish it were . . . This novel wins you over in a million micro-observations. -- Dwight Garner * The New York Times *
A richly suggestive and amusing book. -- Jonathan Derbyshire * Financial Times *
Such an enchanting writer. -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * Sunday Times *
Either/Or is both an entertaining campus novel and an engaging disquisition on the very nature and purpose of novels. * Financial Times, *Summer Reads of 2022* *
Stupendous . . . hilarious... Batuman is a genius, rendering human folly at its most colorful and borderline surreal -- Lauren Mechling * Vogue *
The central pleasure of reading Elif Batuman's ferociously intelligent fiction...[is] the thrill of encountering things you already half-knew, rendered in language with lyrical precision... hopefully, there will be a third installment of the adventures of Elif Batuman's brilliantly modern picaro. * Times Literary Supplement *
Wonderfully idiosyncratic... Charming -- Alex Clark * Guardian *
Delightful... Batuman has a formidable deadpan wit... Selin is not only an astute observer but displays a touching capacity for awe. * Spectator *
A charming, mordantly funny follow-up to her first novel... triumphal. * Daily Mail *
Either/Or is an astute and very amusing read, packed with pin-sharp observations delivered in a deadpan style. * i *
Selin, the magnetic protagonist in Batuman's brilliant and comedic first novel, The Idiot (2017), returns . . . Selin reads and ponders the human condition, culminating in a breath-catching ending that will leave spellbound readers hoping for more from Batuman's bright and witty adventurer of conscience. * Booklist (starred review) *
[A] charming, smart and completely idiosyncratic take on art, life and the gap between. -- Stephanie Cross * Daily Mail, *Books to Look Out For 2022* *
One of the most convincing fictional descriptions of overwhelming despair I have read... Batuman... [has] extraordinary control of the narrative voice. * London Review of Books *
Effervescent . . . Observant, defiant, and newly on antidepressants, Selin approaches the mystery of human relations with a beginner's naivete and sharp intelligence . . . Batuman's light touch and humor are brought to bear on serious questions . . . As accomplished as The Idiot was, this improves upon it, and Batuman's already sharp chops as a novelist come across as even more refined in these pages. Readers will be enraptured. * Publishers Weekly (starred review) *
A brilliant meditation on womanhood and identity. By turns hilarious and illuminating. -- Irenosen Okojie
What elevates this far above the typical campus novel is Ms. Batuman's wry perspective . . . Selin's observations are frequently hilarious, sometimes touching and always original . . . There's both a sweet innocence and a sophisticated meta aspect to all this, a level on which Either/Or is about how Selin (and her creator) came to create the very book we're reading . . . [A] charming, hyper-literary novel . . . To be continued, we hope. * Wall Street Journal *
Batuman, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New Yorker writer, brings delicious detail and light irony to her heroine's quest. * Oprah Daily, “The 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2022” *
Either/Or is driven by intellectual questions: it's a novel of ideas narrated by a protagonist who, even in her misery, is delightful company. -- Hannah Rosefield * Literary Review *
Elif Batuman's debut novel, The Idiot, is one of the best works of fiction published in the 21st century. Her new novel, Either/Or, picks up where The Idiot left off. . . . Batuman has an extremely keen sense for what makes characters engaging and renders it all in supernaturally observant and funny prose. * AV Club, “The 15 most-anticipated books of 2022” *

ISBN: 9781787333864

Dimensions: 240mm x 162mm x 34mm

Weight: 592g

368 pages