Elif Batuman (born in 1977, in New York City) is an American author, academic, and journalist. Born in New York to Turkish parents, she grew up in New Jersey. She graduated from Harvard College, and received her doctorate in comparative literature from Stanford University, where she taught. Batuman is currently the writer-in-residence at Koç University. While in graduate school, Batuman studied the Uzbek language in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Her dissertation, titled "The Windmill and the Giant: Double-Entry Bookkeeping in the Novel," is about the process of social research and solitary construction undertaken by novelists. In 2007, she was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. In February, 2010, she published her first book, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, which details her experiences as a graduate student. She has also published pieces in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine and n+1; her writing has been described as "almost helplessly epigrammatical." She currently resides in Twin Peaks, San Francisco.