Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart

The only child of Russian Jews, Gary Shteyngart travels from a shaky asthmatic beginning in St. Petersburg as Soplyak or Snotty to middle-class comfort in New York. While tales of immigrant angst abound, Shteyngart is especially skilled at exposing the layers of heartbreak under his polished veneer of humor. As he desperately tries to shake what he terms his “beet salad heritage” and make peace with his parents’ questionable parenting skills, Shteyngart’s affecting memoir shows just how insidiously our past shapes us -- in both good ways and bad. That kid on the cover has sure ended up going places!

A longer review of this book will be published in the February 5 issue of The BookBrowse Review. Thank you to the publishers for an ARC.

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