A visionary novel from the author of Super Sad True Love Story and Little Failure.
The Russian Debutante's Handbook introduces Vladimir Girshkin, one of the most original and unlikely heroes of recent times. The twenty-five-year-old unhappy lover to a fat dungeon mistress, affectionately nicknamed "Little Failure" by his high-achieving mother, Vladimir toils his days away as a lowly clerk at the bureaucratic Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society. When a wealthy but psychotic old Russian war hero appears, Vladimir embarks on an adventure of unrelenting lunacy that takes us from New York's Lower East Side to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava--the Eastern European Paris of the nineties. With the help of a murderous but fun-loving Russian mafioso, Vladimir infiltrates the Prava expat community and launches a scheme as ridiculous as it is brilliant.
Bursting with wit, humor, and rare insight, The Russian Debutante's Handbook is both a highly imaginative romp and a serious exploration of what it means to be an immigrant in America.
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Vladimir Girshkin, a likeable Russian immigrant, searches for love, a decent job, and a credible self-identity in Gary Shteyngart's debut novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook. With a doctor-father of questionable ethics and a manic, banker mother, Vladimir avoids his suburban parents and their desire that he pursue the almighty dollar as proof of success. Vladimir gets by as an immigration clerk, eking out a living in a cruddy New York City apartment while accumulating an array of quirky acquaintances, from a wealthy but disheveled old man (who claims his electric fan speaks to him) desperate for citizenship to Challa, a portly S/M queen. As a love interest, Challa is replaced by Francesca, a graduate student whose friends welcome Vladimir for the status he brings their bohemian clique, and whose parents encourage them to shack up (she lives at home) as visible proof she can maintain a steady relationship.
The Russian Debutante's Handbook is a quirky amalgam of dead-on American absurdities, albeit with somewhat stereotypical characters. While Vladimir flounders with how to improve his state, he becomes an expatriate in a trendy European city, becomes somewhat of a mobster himself, and generally has a good time. While many of the central characters remain elusively thin, Vladimir is a delight, and Shteyngart's wit is merciless: Russian women wear "wedding cakes of blond hair" and graduate students lounge in a bar "as if waiting for funding to appear." Reminiscent of Gogol and other Russian satirists, The Russian Debutante's Handbook is a genuine, sublime social commentary. --Michael FerchAbout the Author:
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972. This novel won the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and was chosen as a best book of the year by The Washington Post Book World and Entertainmeny Weekly. His second novel, Absurdistan, was one of the New York Times' Best Books of 2006, and named a best book of the year by Time and The Washington Post. His third novel, Super Sad True Love Story was a New York Times Notable Book and named a best book of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many others. His most recent book, Little Failure, is a memoir hailed as "hilarious and moving" (New York Times) and "dazzling" (NPR). His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, and other publications. He lives in New York City.
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Descripción Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 747561028
Descripción Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0747561028