NYRB: Anakana Schofield presents "Bina: A Novel in Warnings," with Elif Batuman

February 11, 2021, 7:30 PM

Anakana Schofield joins us to present her new novel, Bina: A Novel in Warnings, in conversation with Elif Batuman. This progam is part of our ongoing series with NYRB and will take place on Zoom. Register here:

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A provocative, feminist novel about a woman who persists in spite of the violence, injustice, and oppression that fills her world.

Bina is a woman who’s had enough and isn’t afraid to say so. “I’m here to warn you, not reassure you,” she announces at the book’s outset. In a series of taut, urgent missives she attempts to set the record of her life straight, and in doing so, to be useful to others. Yet being useful is what landed her in jail. Empathy is her Achilles’ heel. Her troubles seem to stem from an injured stranger named Eddie, and they multiply when her charity extends from delivering meals to the elderly to working with the dying. No good deed of hers goes unpunished and the costs of her capacity for care are legion, as one by one she is denied her livelihood, her health, and her freedom, but her voice continues resolutely, an act of friendship in itself. Bina is an unsettling, thought-provoking novel of formal inventiveness and moral and emotional complexity by a bold and talented writer.

Anakana Schofield is an award-winning Irish-Canadian writer of fiction, essays, and literary criticism. Her previous novels are Malarky (2012) and Martin John (2015). The UK edition of Bina was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2020. Schofield lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Elif Batuman is the author of two books: a memoir, The Possessed, and a novel The Idiot, which was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She is a staff writer for The New Yorker.