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Gary Shteyngart's loving but mismatched parents dreamed that he would become a lawyer, or at least an accountant, something their distracted son was simply not cut out to do. Fusing English and Russian, his mother created the term Failurchka-'Little Failure'-which she applied to her son. With love. Mostly.
A candid and deeply poignant story of a Soviet family's trials and tribulations, and of their escape in 1979 to the consumerist promised land of the USA, Little Failure is also an exceptionally funny account of the author's transformation from asthmatic toddler in Leningrad to 40-something Manhattanite with a receding hairline and a memoir to write.
'Gary Shteyngard delivers big time with Little Failure. Told with fearlessness, wisdom and the wit that you'd expect from one of America's funniest novelists.' Carl Hiaasen
'If you, like me, have often wondered: 'How did Gary Shteyngart get like that?' Little Failure is the heartfelt, moving and truly engaging memoir that explains it all. Dr Freud would be proud.' Nathan Englander
Read Caroline Baum's Review
No contest, the most hilarious memoir of the year. Born in St Petersburg, the only child of squabbling parents, Gary Shteyngart immigrated to the US with his parents at the age of seven. The experience turned his world inside out; he had to switch from making up folk tales about Lenin to fitting in with extreme capitalism. When he worked out what that meant, all he wanted to do was eat burgers, get laid and write. Along the way he plunged deep into psychotherapy, battled addiction and narrowly escaped a girlfriend who subsequently tried to murder her lover with a hammer. Think of this as a straight David Sedaris with extra gravitas (as conferred by ideological culture shock). Borscht-snortingly funny.
About the Author
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972. In 2007 he was named one of Granta's Best Young American novelists. His debut The Russian Debutante's Handbook was widely acclaimed (and won the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction), as were his second, Absurdistan (one of the 10 Best Books of the Year in the New York Times) and Super Sad True Love Story (which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize). He writes regularly for the New Yorker.
'A marvel of a story. His finest book yet.' - Zadie Smith
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 20th January 2014
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 23.0
Edition Number: 1