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Jenny Hendrix

Reading to Live

Elif Batuman’s first book, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, is nominally a collection of essays but reads like the fragmentary record of a quest. Batuman, like Roberto Bolaño’s detectives, is in search of a literary puzzle in the convergence zone between literature and life.

Laying the Groundwork

There is a moment in everyone’s life when suddenly, with brutal, unflinching clarity, you know that you will die. Mortality becomes suddenly tangible, claustrophobic, and—you realize in animalistic panic—nonnegotiable.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2020

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