Sunday, June 26, 2022

Ten books about young women in (and out) of love

Lauren Hutton is a writer and journalist with double majors in English (creative writing emphasis) and women's studies from Colgate University. She is currently an editorial intern for Electric Literature.

At Electric Lit Hutton tagged ten "nuanced stories [that] are less interested in happy endings than allowing the women at the heart of
these dalliances to uncover how universal concerns can play out on the most intimate of stages." One title on the list:
The Idiot by Elif Batuman

This novel follows Turkish American Selin throughout her freshman year at Harvard and an ensuing summer of European travels. Selin completely understands the limits of her experiences and it is this self-awareness that allows for her brilliance as a narrator, her ability to interrogate society and her role in it as she falls in love for the first time. She unpacks the limits of language and culture in the same way she studies her feelings for older mathematics student Ivan, with whom she exchanges emails and ultimately follows to his native Hungary. In scrutinizing both intellectualism and desire, she unveils the very universal need to understand the world and be understood by it. In short, the book takes her seriously as a thinker, not in spite of her being a young woman in love, but because of it.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Idiot is among Katherine Heiny's eight of the best books about modern dating.

--Marshal Zeringue