"Like most Soviet Jews, like most immigrants from Communist nations, my parents were deeply conservative," writes Gary Shteyngart in his engaging memoir, Little Failure. So one can imagine that of all the career paths the Shteyngarts had in mind for their only child, writing certainly wasn't one of them. "My mother was developing an interesting fusion of English and Russian and, all by herself, had worked out the term Failurchka, or Little Failure." "'What kind of profession is this, writer?' my mother would ask. 'You want to be this?' I want to be this."
And what a writer he has become! Over the years, Shteyngart has expertly wielded biting wit and razor-sharp intelligence to become one of contemporary fiction's foremost chroniclers of the immigrant experience. Now Little Failure, his memoir, shines light on the pith behind his two stellar works of fiction, The Russian Debutante's ...
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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