Heralded as “one of his generation’s most original and exhilarating writers” by The New York Times, Gary Shteyngart has fused his literary chops and biting humor into one-of-a-kind fiction that provokes, inspires, and entertains—sometimes all at once. Throughout the two bestselling novels in this eBook bundle, Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story, Shteyngart is at the height of his powers: “wildly funny” (San Francisco Chronicle), ...
Heralded as “one of his generation’s most original and exhilarating writers” by The New York Times, Gary Shteyngart has fused his literary chops and biting humor into one-of-a-kind fiction that provokes, inspires, and entertains—sometimes all at once. Throughout the two bestselling novels in this eBook bundle, Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story, Shteyngart is at the height of his powers: “wildly funny” (San Francisco Chronicle), “freakishly intelligent” (Elle), “ridiculously witty and painfully prescient” (Time).
Don’t miss Gary Shteyngart’s highly anticipated memoir, Little Failure, an American immigrant story of a lifelong misfit who finally finds his place in the world, told with the author’s sharp powers of observation, self-deprecating humor, surprising revelations, and moving insights into the human heart. ABSURDISTAN “Exuberant, wise, hilarious . . . a long, funny, heartbreaking lament for home, whatever that means, and wherever that might be.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Meet Misha Vainberg, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia and a 325-pound patriot of no country save New York City. Misha just wants to live in the South Bronx with his hot Latina girlfriend, but after his gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman, all hopes of a U.S. visa are lost. Salvation lies in tiny, oil-rich Absurdistan, where a crooked consular officer will sell Misha a Belgian passport. Then civil war breaks out, a local warlord installs Misha as minister of multicultural affairs, and our hero finds himself fighting for his life, falling in love, and trying to figure out if a normal life is still possible in the twenty-first century.
SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY “Wonderful . . . [combines] the tenderness of the Chekhovian tradition with the hormonal high jinks of a Judd Apatow movie.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
In the near future, America is crushed by a financial crisis, and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of a Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of “printed, bound media artifacts” (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart? All Lenny has to do is convince his fickle new love that there is still value in being a real human being.
Praise for Gary Shteyngart
“Compared with most young novelists his age . . . Shteyngart is a giant mounted on horseback. He ranges more widely, sees more sweepingly and gets where he’s going with far more aplomb.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Obscenely gifted . . . [His] prose never fails to pop, and nothing escapes his satiric eye.”—Entertainment Weekly
“The Joseph Heller of the information age.”—Salon
“His imagination is either warped or prophetic; you choose. But his writing is brilliant.”—The Seattle Times
“Not since mid-seventies Woody Allen has anyone cracked so wise and so well.”—Esquire
“There is no one better at skewering social systems.”—The Wall Street Journal
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. He is the author of the novels Super Sad True Love Story, which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and was selected as one of the best books of the year by more than forty newspapers and magazines around the world; Absurdistan, which was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and Time magazine; and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, winner of the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications and has been translated into twenty-six languages. Shteyngart lives in New York City.
In the hilariously skewed world of Gary Shteyngart, reality and absurdity trot gleefully hand-in-hand. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, finds a Jewish/Soviet ne'er-do-well on a manic search for fortune and fame against the backdrops of New York City and the fictional European city of Prava. Absurdistan, Shteyngart's sophomore effort, ups the level of wackiness. The obese, gluttonous Misha Vainberg devours Western pop culture, lusts after a sultry Latina from the South Bronx, and stumbles into the position of Minister of Multicultural Affairs in the volatile, oil-rich nation of Absurdistan. While Shteyngart's wickedly whimsical prose and searing satire have been almost universally praised, he sees his work not as goofy flights of fancy but as a rather accurate vision of the contemporary global society.
"This is a reality book," Shteyngart declared to The Austinist, "and the reality is that we are becoming Absurdistan with each passing day. Look, you have a government that spies on its own citizens, is basically an oil kleptocracy, the government serves the oil interest, just the way it does in Russia."
Shteyngart's keen insights into world politics, particularly the current climate of America, are what elevate his novels above mere farce. Born in Leningrad, Russia, during the Cold War, but living the majority of his life in New York, the novelist has experienced life in the two contrasting nations that most influence his work. Along the way, he earned a degree in politics from Oberlin College in Ohio. Shteyngart is also a devoted traveler, and a stint in Prague sparked his first book. "I spent too much time in all these different places," he explained. "[W]hen I was in college, I really wanted to go back to Russia and my Mom, who was paying my bills at the time said, ‘Over my dead body, they'll eat you alive there. Look at you. You're a little Jew, they'll kill ya.' And I said ‘Uh, alright.' So I went to Prague with my girlfriend at the time and that became The Russian Debutante's [Handbook]."
The Russian Debutante's Handbook was greeted with a seemingly ceaseless string of laudatory reviews. From Vanity Fair to The New York Times to Book Magazine, Steyngart was regarded as a major new talent with a decidedly unique style. Because his debut was subject to so much acclaim, Steyngart felt that its success negatively affected the response to Absurdistan. "You know it's really interesting there are some people who love the first book...so much that they hate the second book because the tone is so different," he said. Of course, one would never know based on some of the most prominent responses to Absurdistan. The Washington Post celebrated the book's "sharp insights into the absurdity of the modern world," and Publisher's Weekly cheered that Misha Vainberg is a "sympathetic protagonist worthy of comparison to America's enduring literary heroes.'
Not to be deterred by a minority of naysayers, Shteyngart is already hard at work on his third novel, which features the tellingly named character Jerry Shteynfarb from Absurdistan. "[M]y next book [takes place] partly in Albany -- but set in the year 2040, when it's called All-Holy Albany Rensselaer," he told Forward, "and it's a small religious protectorate under the command of a Korean Rev. Cho. My hero, Jerry Shteynfarb, is 65 years old, married to one of Reverend Cho's daughters and trying to eke out a survival. That's going to be the next project."
Good To Know
What would Shteyngart be doing if he wasn't an acclaimed novelist? Well, he says he'd like to be an urban planner. One of his first jobs was as a janitor in a nuclear reactor.
Shteyngart began Absurdistan only a few days before 9/11, and briefly shelved the book after the tragic event.