Thursday, December 4, 2014

what a nickname.

I learned many interesting things about Gary (or Igor) Shteyngart while reading his memoir, Little Failure, one being that he thinks of himself as an unreliable narrator of his own life, and that he was high throughout most of high school and college. I always just drunkenly wrote emails to myself, I bet Gary wishes he did that.

In Little Failure, we follow Igor/Gary through his childhood in Russia. His immigration to America in 1979, although he grew up being taught that America was the enemy. Through adolescence, youth, and his family dynamics. On to college and beyond. There are romances, school, jobs, family secrets, all the things that make for an interesting life story. I thought Gary was pretty hilarious, his use of satire first rate, his commentary on Russia and America honest, but he's not for everyone. The memoir ends with a visit to St. Petersburg, with what I'm sure at the time changed Gary's view on his humorless Russian parents because it sure changed mine.

No comments: