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Little Failure A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart

Little Failure A Memoir

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   

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A Russian boy and his family manage to get permission to leave Brezhnev’s Russia for a new life America. He is skinny, asthmatic and fearful of his parents rowing and fighting –finding it difficult to fit in. How he goes from this beginning to life as a successful novelist is quite a rite of passage. Written with Shteyngart’s noted humour and candour, as Zadie Smith noted “his finest book yet”.

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Who is Sue Baker


Little Failure A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart's 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 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.


'Dazzling, exquisitely charted. Time spent with Shteyngart is like being with Woody Allen on speed: razor-sharp, funny and deeply moving.' Mail on Sunday 'A marvel of a story. His finest book yet.' Zadie Smith 'An immigrant story, a coming-of-age story, a becoming-a-writer story. Dazzling.' Meg Wolitzer

About the Author

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972. He is the author of the novels The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story, as well as the memoir Little Failure. He was named one of Granta's Best Young American novelists 2007 and has won the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. He writes regularly for the New Yorker. His new novel, Lake Success, is published by Hamish Hamilton in September 2018.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th October 2014


Gary Shteyngart

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Penguin Books Ltd


368 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites




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