Why Subscribe?

Hello, this is Elif! I started this Substack in June 2023, as I was winding down from promoting my second novel, getting started on the third, and having various melancholy thoughts about how many years it would be until I might once again experience the material reality and time-bound existence of actual living readers.

At first, I just thought of the newsletter as a way to keep in touch with people between big projects…but the connection with you guys came to feel so sanity-inducing that I decided to turn it into a regular publication, focusing on writing, life, time, and writing about time. Also reading and rereading.

One post about Proust and Chat GPT was reprinted in The Guardian!

I am currently (as of January, 2024) working on a series of posts about imperialism and “the novel” prompted by a recent trip to Lviv—kind of a sequel to a New Yorker piece I published last year, about rereading Russian literature in light of the Ukraine war.

I am constantly rethinking what I can do here—particularly as reader support enables me to be more ambitious and think bigger. For now, here is what you will get at the different subscription tiers.

Free subscribers:

  • Free previews (first ~1000 words) of regular posts

Paid subscribers:

  • Full access to all posts

  • Full access to archives

  • The ability to comment on posts (I will comment back when I can)

  • Bonus posts about what I’m working on

Founding Members will additionally receive:

  • Periodic photo mini-essays

  • A Zoom meeting, as soon as I figure out how to set this up

  • My profound gratitude (seriously, thank you!)

Thanks for reading!

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Dispatches from the author of The Idiot


I write books slowly.