Citigroup Distinguished Visitor - Class of Fall 2007
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad, Russia in 1972 and immigrated to the United States seven years later. He is the author of the novels Absurdistan (Random House, 2006) and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (Riverhead Books, 2002). Absurdistan, Shteyngart’s second work, offers a comic and satirical account of American values in contrast to the melancholy and hilarity of the former Soviet Union. It was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and TIME magazine, as well as Book of the Year by national newspapers such as The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Chicago Tribune. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, received similar acclaim, winning the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and mention as a New York Times Notable Book. Shteyngart’s fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Esquire, GQ, the New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. A travelogue has been included in the Best American Travel Writing of 2006 anthology and another will be included in the 2007 anthology. He has also been selected as one of the twenty best young American novelists by Granta magazine.
His work-in-progress, a novel tentatively titled The Love Song of Eunice Park and set in New York, will trace the “city’s silence” to touch upon immorality, migration, and the future of literature.