Author Elif Batuman. Plus, our obsession with feedback

Author Elif Batuman. Plus, our obsession with feedback

By Financial Times

FT Weekend

Saturday, 6 August

This week, we talk to the author Elif Batuman about her new novel ‘Either / Or’. The book is set in the 1990s, and follows Elif’s fictionalised alter ego, Selin, as she navigates life as a Harvard student. Elif reflects on looking back at the ’90s from a contemporary perspective and talks about what we’ve learnt since. Then, we hear about feedback from deputy FT Magazine editor Esther Bintliff. We live in a culture obsessed with feedback. But what kind of feedback is actually effective? 


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Links and mentions from the episode: 

– Either/Or by Elif Batuman is available in all good bookstores. 

– Esther’s piece on feedback, 

– Bradley Whitford describing the three-step reaction on WTF with Marc Maron

– If you want to hear Kim Scott talking about Radical Candour at Inbound Bold Talks, 2016: 

– Elif Batuman is on Twitter @BananaKarenina. Esther is on Twitter @estherbintliff. 


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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco.

Silicon Valley clip courtesy of HBO. 

Read a transcript of this episode on

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