Elif Batuman was born in New York and lives in Istanbul, where she is writer-in-residence at Koç University. She has been a regular contributor to the New Yorker since 2006, and holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University. Her first book, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (2010), was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award and a runner-up for a PEN/ Diamondstein-Spielvogel Award. It was also longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Her essays, articles and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, the Guardian, Harper’s and n+1.