The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.
In this issue: "Living on the Edge" by George Packer; "Sleight of No Hands" by Mark Singer; "The Bouvier Affair" by Sam Knight; "Cover Story" by Elif Batuman; "Luxe et Veritas" by Dan Chiasson; "Hidden Wonders" by Carrie Battan; and "Not-Guilty Pleasure" by Emily Nussbaum.
"Too Much Infotech", by Hendrik Hertzberg; "Amateur Spelunker", by Ben McGrath; "Taken", by Sarah Stillman; "Poisoned Land", by Elif Batuman; and "Beyond Control", by Anthony Lane.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers each year.
"Indulgence", by Hendrik Hertzberg; "Home Again", by Peter Stevenson; "Show-and-Tell", by Ben McGrath; "Timing the Recovery", by James Surowiecki; "Go West", by Peter Hessler; "The Memory Kitchen", by Elif Batuman; "Celebrity Smackdown", by Lauren Collins; and "Perilous Love", by David Denby.