The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard where she signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.
When the school year ends, Ivan goes to Budapest and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside. Her summer does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of college students, but rather is the beginning of a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.