The Writer's Studio Craft Talk with Elif Batuman: Writing from Life


Writing and living are really different from each other. When we write, we sit alone in a room stringing words into sentences. In the rest of life, we go into the world and have various open-ended, mysterious, sometimes beautiful, often painful or boring, interactions with other people. How can we make a string of words seem real, spontaneous, and alive? How can we transform open-ended, not obviously meaningful experiences into a story, with a beginning, a middle, and an end? How do we give a story enough of a "point" that it doesn't feel pointless, but not so much that it doesn't feel like life anymore? We'll look at how different writers use different genres—novel, essay, memoir, etc.—to convey a sense of the realness of life, and talk about  the different tools and trade-offs available to us as writers.
Books will be available for signing on-site from Tattered Cover.
Discounted tickets are available as part of our All-Access Pass, as well as through our Spring Break Five-Pack (including David Shields, Jim Shepard, and Aleksandar Hemon).   
Elif Batuman has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. Her first book, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her novel, The Idiot, is forthcoming from Penguin in March 2017. Her stories have been anthologized in the 2014 Best American Travel Writing and the 2010 Best American Essays collections. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a Paris Review Terry Southern Prize for Humor. Batuman holds a doctoral degree in comparative literature from Stanford University. From 2010 to 2013, she was writer-in-residence at Koç University in Istanbul. She lives in New York. 

Upcoming Sessions:

Interested in this offering, but can’t make it this time around? Is the class already full? You can be notified when a new section of The Writer's Studio Craft Talk with Elif Batuman: Writing from Life is added.

We can also notify you of new classes from .