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Deny and Imply

J. Robert Lennon: Gary Shteyngart, 16 December 2010

Super Sad True Love Story 
by Gary Shteyngart.
Granta, 331 pp., £12.99, September 2010, 978 1 84708 103 2
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... to let you forget it. In his first two novels, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart appeared consumed by a desire to enter into the royalty of American literary schlumpitude. His biography reads like a recipe for energetic, awkward self-consciousness: first-generation immigrant (he arrived in the United States from Leningrad ...

Who’s the big one?

Irina Aleksander: Gary Shteyngart, 22 May 2014

Little Failure: A Memoir 
by Gary Shteyngart.
Hamish Hamilton, 368 pp., £16.99, February 2014, 978 0 241 14665 1
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... On the last page​ of Gary Shteyngart’s memoir there’s a photograph of his parents, Nina and Semyon, seated across a restaurant table from whoever took the picture (presumably Shteyngart). Nina – the book is dedicated to his analyst, so let’s look first at his mother – has a coquettish tilt of the head, cropped hair and a tight-lipped, sly smile ...

How can we make this place more like Bosnia?

Philip Connors: Absurdistan, 2 August 2007

Absurdistan 
by Gary Shteyngart.
Granta, 333 pp., £10.99, June 2007, 978 1 86207 972 4
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... New York to St Petersburg to the fictional former Soviet republic that gives the novel its name. Gary Shteyngart would seem well placed to attempt an ambitious satire of the post-Cold War world in all its bloody ethnic feuds, byzantine oil politics and Western narcissism. He emigrated to America from Leningrad in 1979 at the age of seven. In the early ...

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