Stylish readers!  I’m London bound for a series of really promising events.  Tomorrow evening I will be heading straight from the airport to the Auburn & Wills clothing store in Notting Hill, for a double-booking with the visibly fabulous Molly Parkin:


“the queen of bohemia resplendent in her urban turban”

This event must not be missed by anyone who (a) is in London, (b) loves literature, and (c) needs to pick up some light yachting wear.

Seriously when we were going over the schedule, my publicist mentioned that I should pack something elegant for a photo shoot.  I immediately got demoralized, because all two of my pairs of leggings now have holes in them – and then I was like, “Wait – if I’m reading in a clothing store, can I just buy something there?”

“Oh, yes – I believe you get a discount,” my publicist said, a shade hesitantly.  “It’s just, the clothes might be a bit preppy.”

stonyfold cardigan


Clearly Ms. Parks and I are gonna fit right in.  I actually have my eye on this rather attractive duvet cover to wear to my next engagement:

duvet cover


This will be at the British Museum on February 21, where I will talk about Cervantes, Balzac, and Double-Entry Bookkeeping, as part of the LRB Winter Lecture Series, the other two speakers in which series being, hilariously, Judith Butler (who spoke on the Kafka papers controversy) and TJ Clark (who spoke on Picasso).  A huge honor and I plan to dress accordingly.

Apropos of all my hard work researching Kafka and kittens last year, I was delighted to note that Quirk Classics, the visionaries who brought us Android Karenina, are finally putting out a Kafka-kitten mash-up:


Looking sharp, little guy!

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10 Responses to “FANCY DRESS”

  1. Larry Specht Says:

    I would love to hear your reading in London, but I’m stuck in one of the most depressing places on earth right now – Washington, DC. Couldn’t you book a couple lectures and maybe a reading or two here. Those of us who aren’t Tea Party crazies or corrupt lobbyists need to be reminded that there is intelligent and funny life in the universe and you are just the one to do it.

  2. SW Foska Says:

    Sorry to miss both events; I’ll be teaching. The tartan duvet cover looks nice. Unfortunately, although I think of myself as a quiite liberal person, I do hold firmly to the views that a) if you’re gonna wear duvet, get it made to measure; b) if you’re gonna wear tartan, get it made in Scotland. Best of luck, SWF

  3. Turku Says:

    I will promptly log onto Amazon and order a few more copies of The Possessed to kick start the hole-less legging fund.

  4. Vedran Says:


    I know that you prefer Tolstoy over Dostoyevsky (maybe I do too), but I am very curious to know what you think of “Белые ночи.” Have you ever written anything about it, or mentioned it somewhere? Searching for it on this blog brings up World Kidney Day, Frank Sinatra, and Vampire Weekend.

  5. Amette Says:

    Oh, now I’m sorry that I didn’t come to England :(
    I’ve just canceled my flight a week ago, but not I feel like I could have gone just to hear you speak at the Brit Museum.

  6. Elif Says:

    dear larry, swf, and amette, thank you very much for your kind notes – it would have been great to meet up this time, but life is a long and winding road and i’m sure that we will meet up sooner or later, in london or dc or somewhere completely different.

    dear turku, your support is greatly appreciated!

    dear vedran, wow, i realize i haven’t read “white nights” since high school! at the time, i loved it. i’ve never written about it though. i guess vampire weekend, frank sinatra, and world kidney day seemed more topical…?

  7. Colin Says:

    I trust there will be another event in the UK to coincide with the UK edition of the book? The man in the bookshop on Saturday said April the 7th. (I am, as you can tell, not at the talk. They didn’t let me out in time.)

  8. Elif Says:

    dear colin, thanks for your interest! yes, there will be multiple uk events in april! i will be putting the details on the events page as they are hammered out (still very cursory at the moment).

  9. barbara carlson Says:

    So glad to have found your first book (via Harper’s printing of the excerpt on your plausible murder theory re Tolstoy) — I learned so much — your enthusiastic scholarship melds seamlessly with life, as real education always does (One def. of “educate” is “to bring out” and you do). You satisfy me with your insightful attention to delicious back-yard stories, arcane facts & make me think with your astute juxtapositions. I look forward to reading anything else you have written and will write.

    I hate to bring up another writer’s name when I am clearly lauding YOU…but have you read any Tim Moore? He writes from personal (often painful) experience in melding history with his unintentionally hilarious re-creations of events, i.e., Frost on my Mustache and Continental Drifter: Taking the Low Road with the First Grand Tourist. He is a Brit.

    AND pleased to have found your clean-format & visual blog which I plan to devour over time. I am writing from Canada, but I am a U.S (liberal).-Canadian citizen, born in California, now living with my husband in Ottawa, in our 36th year as self-employed artists.

  10. Turku Says:

    Elif – it sounds like some folks in Madrid are on a Batumanian (Quixotic?) quest to find Cervantes’s bones, which will be recognizable by the gashes their owner sustained while fighting against the Turks during the battle of Lepanto. This story -like the labyrinthine litigation over Kafka’s papers- is just crying out for your narration. Think of the cast of characters: C’s bones, Prado archeologists, Spanish nuns, “georadar technology” and the dank recesses of a 17th century convent. See more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/25/cervantes-bones-madrid-convent-search

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