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Gary Shteyngart, photo by Lacombe
Gary Shteyngart

BESTSELLING RUSSIAN-AMERICAN HUMORIST AND SATIRICAL NOVELIST

NYS Writers Institute, February 17, 2011
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

 

CALENDAR LISTING:
Gary Shteyngart, Russian-American humorist and satirical novelist, will discuss his new book, Super Sad True Love Story (2010), which was named one of the top ten books of 2010 by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times, Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day the author will offer an informal seminar at 4:15 p.m. in the Standish Room, Science Library, on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and are free and open to the public.

 

PROFILE
Gary Shteyngart,
Russian-American humorist, is the author most recently of Super Sad True Love Story (2010),a tragi-comic romance set in a not-too-distant, but extremely screwed-up America of the future. Lenny Abramov, the forty-something son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, falls in love with Eunice Park, a Korean-American immigrant half his age. Their awkward intercultural relationship unfolds in a world characterized by shopaholic consumerism, a sex-crazed pop culture, Chinese economic suzerainty, invasive electronic gadgetry, and a “bipartisan” Big Brother political system.

Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times named  Super Sad True Love Story one of the top ten books of 2010.  The Salon reviewer said, “Shteyngart is the Joseph Heller of the Information Age.” NPR asserted that the novel “deserves a place on the shelf beside 1984 and Brave New World.” The Washington Post reviewer said, “This may be the only time I’ve wanted to stand up on the subway and read passages of a book out loud.” Major American novelist Jane Smiley, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, said, “Threads of narrative and brilliant motifs accumulate with apparent effortlessness and the narrative tone remains matter-of-fact and understated….

Super Sad True Love StorySuper Sad True Love Story is about as amusing and harrowing a reflection upon the world we live in now and the direction we could be heading as you can hope to find.”

Born Igor Shteyngart in Leningrad under Soviet rule, the author grew up in New York City, where he attended Stuyvesant High School. After graduating from college, he spent some years working for the immigrant relief organization, NYANA (the New York Association for New Americans), an experience that continues to enrich his fiction. He currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Columbia University.

Shteyngart received the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for his first novel The Russian Debutante’s Handbook in 2002. The Guardian (UK) named it one of the best debuts of the year, and the reviewer for the New York Observer said that, “Mr. Shteyngart has introduced himself as one of the most talented and entertaining writers of his generation.”

His second novel, Absurdistan (2006), was named one of the “10 Best Books of the Year” by the New York Times and Time magazine. Walter Kirn, writing in the Times, said, “Like a victorious wrestler, this novel is so immodestly vigorous, so burstingly sure of its barbaric excellence, that simply by breathing, sweating and standing upright it exalts itself.”

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.