Gary Shteyngart Little Failure
Chair: Sarah Churchwell
Little Failure is the alarming pet-name given to the young Gary Shteyngart by his father when growing up in pre-Glasnost Russia is a remarkable immigrant memoir. A candid and poignant story of a Soviet family’s trials and tribulations, and of their 1979 escape to the consumerised promised land of the United States, it is also an exceptionally funny account of the author’s transformation from asthmatic Moscow toddler to 40-something Manhattanite with a receding hairline and a memoir to write.
As Shteyngart says, I’ve finally written a book that isn’t a ribald satire, and because it’s actually based on my life, contains almost no sex whatsoever. I’ve lived this troubled life so others don’t have to. Learn from my failure, please. Gary Shteyngart comes to Jewish Book Week for the UK launch of Little Failure.
Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is the author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby and The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe. Her literary journalism has appeared widely and she comments regularly on arts, culture, and politics for television and radio. She has judged many literary prizes, including the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction, the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and she was a co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award.