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Little Failure, Gary Shteyngart


A memoir that shares it all – extremely candid. It’s his American immigrant experience leaving Russia with his family as a child and coming to NY. The dullness of Russia gave way to the brightness and whole new world of America. They tried their best to assimilate all while keeping their ethics of their Russian past. The first and biggest was changing his name from Igor to Gary. His parents were tough on him, unlovingly most of the time, and expecting a certain type of child to grow up an become a man. When his path strayed significantly, becoming a drinking, pot smoking hanger-on who thought about sex 24/7 and was dying for the touch from the opposite sex, it lead to many an interesting bumping of the heads. His mother’s nickname for him was “Little Failure”… enough said. Being told that day in and out can only lead to thoughts that you are and will be a failure at everything. As we follow him through high school, college, civilian life, literary life up to the first novel being published... he longs to be loved, to be cared for, to have everyone and anyone like him. Quite the misfit, and pathetic many the time, it can be quite hilarious to see his odds within the world and himself which he rightfully admits. Therapy? Yes, he partakes.. thankfully on the couch 4x a week in his twenties. He became a young man, a teacher of creative writing, a desperate young man at the end of his options, insecure, anxious to be praised, betting his literary future, his romantic future, on his work.