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Little Failure: A memoir


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In Little Failure he reveals how, by ending up a prize-winning novelist, he visited great shame on his family.

About the Author

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972. In 2007 he was named one of Granta's Best Young American novelists. His debut The Russian Debutante's Handbook was widely acclaimed (and won the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction), as were his second, Absurdistan (one of the 10 Best Books of the Year in the New York Times) and Super Sad True Love Story (which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize).


A memoir for the ages ... Un-put-down-able ... Little Failure is his best book to date -- Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club
One of America's most exciting writers * Guardian *
Shteyngart has carried the spirit of Russian literature into the iPhones, subways and suburbs of America * Financial Times *
A marvel of a story. His finest book yet. -- Zadie Smith
People who think Gary Shteyngart is a very funny man and a complete pervert are in for a shock by the time they finish this memoir: he turns out to be a very complete man and a funny pervert. Little Failure is a delight -- Aravind Adiga
I'm always wary when a young writer offers up a memoir, but Gary Shteyngart delivers big-time with Little Failure. His family's story is quite remarkable, and it's told with fearlessness, wisdom and the wit that you'd expect from one of America's funniest novelists -- Carl Hiaasen
If you, like me, have often wondered: How did Gary Shteyngart get like that? Little Failure is the heartfelt, moving, and truly engaging memoir that explains it all. Dr. Freud would be proud -- Nathan Englander
Portnoy meets Chekhov meets Shteyngart! What could be better? -- Adam Gopnik
Hilarious, moving, compelling . . . Thanks to Little Failure, the army of readers who love Gary Shteyngart is about to get bigger * The New York Times *
Little Failure finds the delicate balance between side-splitting and heart-breaking * Oprah Magazine *
Harrowing yet hilarious * Wall Street Journal *
Dazzling, highly enjoyable book. Little Failure is a rich, nuanced memoir. It's an immigrant story, a coming-of-age story, a becoming-a-writer story, and a becoming-a-mensch story, and in all these ways it is, unambivalently, a success -- Meg Wolitzer * NPR/All Things Considered *
An ecstatic depiction of survival, guilt and perseverance. . . . Russia gave birth to that master of English-language prose named Vladimir Nabokov. Half a century later, another writer who grew up with Cyrillic characters is gleefully writing American English as vivid, original and funny as any that contemporary U.S. literature has to offer. That writer is Gary Shteyngart * Los Angeles Times *
Nimbly achieves the noble Nabokovian goal of letting sentiment in without ever becoming sentimental * Washington Post *
If you thought his fiction was funny, read Shteyngart's memoir. [A] deeply moving, honest evocation of growing up * New York Magazine *
Mr Shteyngart's evocative new memoir, Little Failure, is as entertaining as it's moving. . . keenly observed tale of exile, coming-of-age and family love: It's raw, comic and deeply affecting, a testament to Mr Shteyngart's abilities to write with both self-mocking humor and introspective wisdom, sharp-edged sarcasm and aching - and yes, Chekhovian - tenderness -- Michiko Kakutani * The New York Times *
Deeply moving, big-hearted, meaningful and poignant. Mr Shteyngart is funny - and not just knowing-nod, wry-smile funny, but laugh-aloud, drink-no-liquids-while-reading funny. [And]] underlying his writing, always, is yearning, love and often deep sadness * Economist *
A near-perfect account of the churning state of one man's inner life . . . irresistibly funny . . . tinged with sadness * Sunday Times *
By turns naive and cynical, hyper-intelligent and comically immature . . . a masterpiece of comic deprecation * Daily Telegraph *
A powerful and often moving portrait of a troubled man's creative origins. Little Failure is terrific . . . the author's funniest, saddest and most honest work to date * Guardian *
Wonderful, funny * Independent *
Painfully funny and haunting * Sunday Times *
Witty and heartbreaking * Observer *
Gary Shtengart uses his immigrant experience . . . to capture a generation of middle-class Americans and give us a beautifully rendered world of orange-coloured cheese puffs and Cold War menace * Times Literary Supplement *
Hilarious. Raw, moving, uproarious and melancholy all at the same time -- Michiko Kakutani * New York Times *

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